Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egyptian protests in danger of being co-opted

No doubt you are aware by now that the Middle East has erupted in protests in the last few weeks.  First, Progressive Democrats and the Workers Communist Party organized anti-government protesters in Tunisia who this week forced the RCD party out of power.  That regime change sparked a revolutionary fire in other Middle Eastern and North African countries.  As of today there are reports of protests from Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan

The Algerian protests were touched off by the success of the Tunisian demonstrations and while the first round appears to have been set off by pro-theocracy revolutionaries, a second round of protests is being planned by pro-democracy supporters.  Thousands of protesters marched through the city of Bejaia calling for "radical change".

In Yemen the protest leaders are again cloudy.  The country is split between north and south as the terrorist group Al Qaeda has all but taken over the southern half of Yemen.  One of the lead organizing groups is the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedom (HOOD).  HOOD has defended Yemeni Jews who family members were murdered or imprisoned by the government and have worked to repatriate former Guantanamo detainees back into the Yemeni population.  There work for human rights of ALL individuals suggests that they are not an Islamic theocracy based organization but it is yet to be determined if these protests are indeed pro-democracy.

In Jordan the anti-government protests are being organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jordanian Communist Party.  In the video below you will see thousands of protesters carrying the flags of the Muslim Brotherhood and those of the Jordanian Communist Party. 

The protests in Jordan are scary because Jordan is currently one of 2 Middle Eastern nations who have peace accords with Israel and one of a handful of real American allies.  The other nation in the Middle East with a true peace accord with Israel is Egypt which is also in turmoil (more on that below).  The Muslim Brotherhood is NOT currently on our list of state sponsored terrorist organizations but many believe they should be.  They are the forerunners to Al Qaeda and are quite active in trying to create pro-jihad Islamic theocracies around the world.  Hamas is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and is the second most successful MB attempt to hold power (the Sudan being the other).  The Muslim Brotherhood, through Hamas, has shown that they are no friends to Israel and by extension other western nations (like America).


Finally we will discuss Egypt.  The protests in Egypt appear to be what we in America call "grassroots".  They were inspired by the results in Tunisia and pro-democracy leaders who are tired of 30 yr incumbent "President" Hosni Mubarak.  Mubarak has suggested that he would be President for life and is suspected of grooming his sons to replace him.  Only in the last 24-36 hours have the Muslim Brotherhood become vocal supporters. The MB is banned in Egypt largely because of their support of terrorism and its use as a political weapon.  The movement in Egypt should be described as a pro-democracy uprising and not co-opted by the MB and their Islamic theocracy goals.  Former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and his support of the protests are cause for some concern.  ElBaradei was handed a Nobel Peace Prize for ALMOST inspecting Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.  He ALMOST helped the world avoid the Iraq War and in the world of the UN that is enough to deserve a Nobel Prize.  Evidence of the pro-democracy slant can be seen in the people who are both Coptic Christians and Muslims and who have guarded each others houses of worship while the other prayed during the protests last week.  All reports from the ground have been that these protests are mostly peaceful and that men, women AND children are involved.  Babies and young children are part of the protests as well.  I would call them Egyptian TEA Parties
The government in Egypt has released prisoners from jail in an attempt to create chaos and blame it on the protesters and they have furthered the false premise that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind these protests and enjoys enough support to takeover the country.  All reports about the MB in Egypt are that it is in fact a player but that it would not enjoy enough support to become a majority government.  American TEA Party groups have seen this before.  Government officials and supporters of the government in the media and on the American left rushed to claim Jarrod Loughner as a right wing TEA Party member when he shot Gabrielle Giffords in Washington just a few weeks ago.  Loughner of course, turned out to be a lunatic who was closer to the left than the right but it didn't stop the media and the American left from attacking the TEA Party as the cause of the shooting.  The same thing is happening to the Egyptians.  Their movement is one of young and old, Muslim and Christian and men and women who are pretesting forcefully but peacefully.  The violence should be denounced and is by the protesters but we cannot attribute it to the majority of the protests.

Support in America

Protests and demonstrations in support of the Egyptian people took place all across America this weekend.  Fox News covered the events which drew tens of thousands across the country and thousands alone at the UN in New York City.  Most of the protesters and demonstrators are showing support for the Egyptian people without another agenda but the Egyptian people must be careful not to allow their peaceful pro-democracy movement to be co opted by Communist revolutionaries.  On Saturday we had the following image from FoxNews' coverage of a rally in support of the protesters in Egypt:
The demonstrators are holding anti-Mubarak signs but it's the banners that tell the real story.  These are groups with major questions.  The banner on the far right (only a small part is visible to the right of the JC Peace Movement banner) is from a group called Veterans for Peace:
VFP's name is benign but the group is full of anti-military protesters and radicals who have served in our military.  Here is the bio of the organizations Treasurer:
Treasurer:  Nate Goldshlag
I became a radical political activist in college in 1968 and was kicked out in 1969 for accidentally getting my picture plastered on the front page of the New York Times, Life, etc. as we escorted a dean out of a building we occupied at Harvard while protesting ROTC and the Vietnam War.  I was drafted in late 1970.  I didn't do things to avoid the draft and went into the army to organize against the war.  The fact that I avoided the stockade probably meant I wasn't that effective, but we started a GI paper in Germany.  They had just stopped sending grunts like me to Vietnam a few months before, although I would not have gone.  I went back to school and had two kids who I helped raise as a half-time single parent.  I worked as an electronics engineer and retired a few years ago.  I do volunteer and VFP work now.
I was active in the Smedley Butler brigade in Boston in the 1980's around Central America issues, but then lapsed until 2005.  I'll never make that mistake again.  As Smedley coordinator, I helped plan the event that got 18 of us arrested on Veterans Day 2007 for being excluded from the American Legion event, and was one of those arrested.  I coordinated the effort that raised $70,000 nationally for Winter Soldier.  I hope to make a difference in VFP by serving on the Board.  
This guy is proud to have been arrested and to have raised money for an event and a documentary film that portrays a group of military disruptor's as martyrs.  VFP is full of these same types of individuals and their alliances are questionable.

The middle banner is from the Jersey City Peace Movement (JC Peace Movement) which is an anti-war protest group in north Jersey.  The JCPM is a radical progressive group that protests wars across the world, has given awards to members of the Gaza Flotilla and is a member of  the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC).  Endorsers of their marches on April 9th in San Francisco and New York include: Code Pink, The New Black Panther Party, a number of Socialist/Communist groups around the world (including Socialist Party USA), the Free Mumia movement (cop killer supporters) and other radical groups.  UNAC says:

THE PEACEMAKERS DEMAND a better world. Only a massive, united, inclusive and independent movement has the power to bring it into being.

WE DEMAND Bring U.S. Troops, Mercenaries and War Contractors Home Now: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan! End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen. No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Native People! End U.S. Aid to Israel! End U.S. Support to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the Siege of Gaza!

WE DEMAND trillions for jobs, education, social services, an end to all foreclosures, quality single-payer healthcare for all, a massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation and reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad.

WE DEMAND an end to FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists, an end to the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim communities, an end to police terror in Black and Latino communities, full rights and legality for immigrants and an end to all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors and founders.

WE DEMAND the immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads.
JCPM and UNAC are radical anti-military pro-social justice organizations. Their affiliations with Socialists and Communists are tight and scary as is their support of cop killers like Mumia Abu-Jammal.

The final standard seen in the image above is as of yet unconfirmed. I've done some research and what I've found is that the symbol in the center of the flag is the Filipino symbol for Ka and the flag itself appears to be related to the Communist Party of the Philippines. I will admit that I have not yet been able to find the flag anywhere but I have found enough evidence to suggest that this flag is in fact related to the Philippine Communist movement.

It appears to be related to the Communist Party of the Philippines:

People Power Revolution
If you find more information about these protesters and supporters please post here and let us know.

The group that led the protests in support of Egypt nationwide is the Egyptian Association for Change. EACUSA is a progressive social justice organization pushing pro-democracy reforms in Egypt. Here is their logo.

Friday, January 28, 2011

America is on the wrong path with education

At his State of the Union address President Obama spoke at length about education.  He, like many Progressives before him, focused on programs that would increase "investment" (spending) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.).  Delaware has taken the lead on this program.  Joe Biden being the Vice President is one reason, the fact that Delaware is small and easy for them to use as a test market contributes as well but really the biggest part of the reason why Delaware has become a leader in Progressive change in the education industry is that the Governor (Jack Markell), Secretary of Education (Dr. Lillian Lowery) and the head of the largest school district (Dr. Marcia Lyles) are all affiliated with the man who created this progressive education ideology, Mr. Eli Broad.  The idea is that by preparing our children for jobs in these emerging industries we will be able to churn out children prepared to hit the ground running in these fields. While that may be true, it does it at the expense of History and Language Arts programs.  So what you might say?  Those are antiquated and unnecessary in today's society?  Well, maybe that's what we're SUPPOSED to think.

There's no doubt that a focus on S.T.E.M. classes will make our children smart.  Educating them specifically to perform certain trades will certainly churn out a talented and gifted workforce in the Science, Technology and Engineering fields.  The problem is that it will make them smart at the expense of intelligence.  You might be asking, "Aren't smart and intelligent the same thing?"  Well let's explore that:
Intelligent -
1. having good understanding or a high mental capacity; quick to comprehend, as persons or animals: an intelligent student.
2. displaying or characterized by quickness of understanding, sound thought, or good judgment: an intelligent reply.
3. having the faculty of reasoning and understanding; possessing intelligence: intelligent beings in outer space.
4. Computers . pertaining to the ability to do data processing locally; smart: An intelligent terminal can edit input before transmission to a host computer. Compare dumb ( def. 8 ) .
5. Archaic . having understanding or knowledge (usually fol. by of ).
7. quick or prompt in action, as persons.
8. having or showing quick intelligence or ready mental capability: a smart student.
9. shrewd or sharp, as a person in dealing with others or as in business dealings: a smart businessman.
10. clever, witty, or readily effective, as a speaker, speech, rejoinder, etc.
11. dashingly or impressively neat or trim in appearance, as persons, dress, etc.
12. socially elegant; sophisticated or fashionable: the smart crowd.
13. saucy; pert: smart remarks.
You may have noticed that I highlighted a few things.  A synonym for intelligent is "enlightened".  Remember, our founders understood that man can only rule himself when he is enlightened.  Enlightened is defined as: factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions, and guided by rational thought.  The difference between smart and intelligent is clear.  Intelligence is about the capacity to reason and understand, it is the path to enlightenment.  Enlightenment is the ability to "Fix REASON firmly in her seat..." as Thomas Jefferson said.  Smart is about being quick on our feet especially with regards to responses to requests for information. 

In this case, being smart in your chosen field makes you a talented and productive worker but it does little to prepare you for life outside of your profession.  STEM classes teach you to be able to quickly adapt and to recall off hand information.  Think about the way math is taught.  It's a MASSIVE amount of repetition and memorization.  Why?  Because the idea is to make the information quickly accessible to your brain.  Quick: What's 2x2?  I bet you said 4 out loud didn't you?  Now, if I asked you to name our 4th President, could you name Madison as quickly as you answered 4?  Chances are that answer is no.

We must teach our children to REASON and infuse them with knowledge.  This is the CORE of a well rounded, enlightened and educated individual.  It's the foundation of building a knowledgeable populace.  Now we know that STEM classes make our kids smart, but what makes them intelligent and enlightened?  History and Language Arts, the very classes we are pushing out of our schools (I would argue religion as well).  History is essential in so many ways.  It teaches us where we've come from, it provides us with a background and it shows us what has worked and what has failed in the past.  It gives us a frame of reference with which to REASON and formulate decisions.  From a practical standpoint, learning history requires plenty of reading, plenty of focus and an ability to rationalize.  History provides us with facts and it asks US to create our own opinions from it.  The other subject I mentioned was Language Arts.  This is not the spelling and reading classes we have now but instead a more grounded course that challenges children to think critically.  Language Arts classes use original sources and literary pieces to display how language has been and is used but they also teach children how to create their own usage.  They push children to create from their own experiences and depth of knowledge.  Combining history and language arts a core of intelligence and knowledge mixed with critical thinking and THAT enables a child to become enlightened.  An enlightened child can more easily focus and retain information. 

With an enlightened base our children would EASILY be able to transition to any vocational specialty they choose.  An education system based on this model (and coupled with religion) produced out founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and John Adams.  It produced Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge and Martin Luther King.  It helped us create most of the inventions in the 20th century and helped us beat Russia to the moon.  So why would we be led to believe that history and language arts are no longer important?  Because a thorough look at history would upset the apple cart.  People would see that our current system is NOT the system designed by the founders.  It's moving toward a system that has been tried time and time again and which has failed.  The people would learn facts that would cause them to think outside of the box and to "question with boldness".  This thinking and enlightened populace would not need many of the laws and regulations that exist today.  The jobs of the current establishment would be in jeopardy. 

In Delaware we are being used as a guinea pig to determine if STEM programs work.  That's why we were chosen as the winner of the Race to the Top program.  That's also why we spend the 11th most in the country on education and our results rank around the bottom.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who have we become?

In Nebraska, two women (1 who had her two young children with her) attacked another one on a bus.  They did it while the children and at least 3 passengers and the bus driver watched.  Watch this video.  LOOK at who we are.  Not just the vicious attackers but the bystanders who do NOTHING and the children, look at the poor children.  These children are learning this behavior as OK because no one says anything.  Everyone is culpable for this. 

The Jersey Shore set a record for viewership, over 9 million people watched it last week.  The Hills, MTV's child porn show 'Skins" and even the ABC Family show "The Secret Life of an American Teenager" promote sex, violence and that kind of material is trickling down to stations like Nickelodeon (watch iCarly for evidence).  Rap music (which even I must take my lumps for listening to) has become worse and worse in its advocacy of killing people, raping and mistreating women and using drugs.

Look at this Google search for "girl fights".  I don't care where you stand on women's rights, I have and America HAD more respect for our women than this:

In Wilmington, Delaware there's a suggestion that we bring in the National Guard because the police are unable to stop the murders or even solve many of the cases.  The city has a population of 80,000 and in 2010, 27 people were murdered which set a record eclipsing the mark set in 2008 (26).  Gang violence is on the rise, recidivism is up and more and more of our young people are going to prison.  I urge all of you to watch the show "Gangland" on the History Channel (now also playing on Spike).  You may not LIKE the content but you need to KNOW that it exists and that it exists here in Delaware.

Even if these girl fights and murders don't affect you, you've been in a store where someone has gotten mouthy with the clerk in front of their kids or yours.  My wife and I and our 4 children were in the new Target at Christiana Mall shopping in the baby section around a couple of young girls when one of them started using the F--- word literally in every sentence.  It was so bad that my wife and I had to move away.  I've been at Kmart when a woman has verbally assaulted another woman in front of their kids.  Almost everyone has seen this video:

I know what you're thinking.  Evan, we all KNOW these things.  We've all seen this a million times before.  Well folks, this is the problem.  We all know about it but no one will DO anything.  That doesn't mean we censor rap music, ban YouTube or that women shouldn't be allowed to advance and achieve.  It means that we, as a society must stop thinking of ourselves as nothing more than animals.  We must stop accepting these things as normal or looking the other way.  WE have a responsibility to STAND up no matter the cost.

The problem with our nation is not political.  It's something my good friend Jerry calls "moral decline".  It's the "Me Craze", "If it feels good do it" and everything is "an expression of self".  It's a loss of a moral compass.  For most people (more than 90%) that compass points to God.  For others it's just a sense of right and wrong they determine for themselves.  Whatever it is that they point to, too many people have lost their way.  We've lost our faith in God, more accurately we have misplaced it.  When times are tough, when all the chips are down we often find it but that is not enough.  We have to find the good in ourselves and live it all the time.  There will be things we disagree on and disagree on strongly but there is a path to goodness.

It's not OK to fight in front of our children, it's not acceptable to pull out our cell phones and videotape a fight to put it on YouTube.  It's not OK for our children to attack an authority figure and it's not acceptable to kill or attack a police officer.  Our culture is corrupt, our kids are getting worse.  What's more unacceptable?  The passengers on the bus.  The people that do NOTHING are as guilty as those who do not know how to act.  I often hear people my father's age talk about how "in my day this wouldn't have happened" and you know what, they're right.  The REASON why these things didn't happen then is because parents spent more time with their kids and the communities were such that if you got in trouble around the corner, your mother knew about it before you got home or in some cases, the adult who caught you went ahead and took care of you then and there.  Kids were raised to RESPECT their elders at all costs, now 12 year olds consider themselves BETTER than adults.  It's not enough to raise your own children anymore.  We must take an active role in ALL of our children's lives.  Remember,

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Response to the SOTU (and to Gov. Markell's SOTS)

Our nation still stands.  While other nations around the world are collapsing like dominoes in a chain, America remains a land of freedom and a place where men can rule themselves by law.  The foundations of America put in place by our founders and the genetic spirit of liberty passed down through our nations DNA remains strong.  With that said, our state and our nation are in crisis.  Rampant overspending has taken root and we have drifted away from the principles on which our nation was founded.  Those principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets have been replaced by a massive and ever growing government, reckless fiscal policy and government intrusion into almost every industry. 

The 2008 election was won with the motto of "Hope and Change" and too many of us are still waiting to see those things happen.  Congress passed a huge universal healthcare bill that nearly 70% of the nation disapproved of and while the Congress removed SOME of the more divisive provisions, like federal funding for abortions and the public option, the Obama administration is working them back in through regulations.  In the last SOTU our President chastised the Supreme Court and divided the nation.  In Delaware a long term political icon, former Congressman Mike Castle was defeated by a challenger who embraced the TEA Party values (those original principles of our nations founding).  By November 2010, America took the "hope and change" mantra into its own hands.  They elected conservative leadership, most backed by TEA Party groups across the country.  It happened in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia but it missed Delaware. 

The national debt stands at more than $14 Trillion and Delaware's debt is $9 Billion.  Our elected officials have only grown MORE irresponsible over time and they have spent, spent, spent and taxed, taxed, taxed without remorse.  New Castle County has blown through almost all of their $200 Million surplus and their answer?  Raise fees and maybe taxes.  Folks, the time for a discussion about fiscal responsibility is here.  The Obama administration has spent $4 Trillion in 3 years.  His spending habits have trickled down to the states.  Delaware has a Constitutionally mandated balanced budget.  That means that the state legislature MUST balance the budget every year.  Sounds great right?  The problem is that every year our structural deficit (that's the amount our state "overspends") grows every year.  Last year it was over $200 Million and we expect it to be more than $300 Million this year.  Last year state workers took a 2.5% pay cut and a myriad of taxes and fees were raised to close the gap.  Delaware even got deeper into the gambling business and still we are more than $300 Million overspent this year.

What our nation needs now is a fiscal intervention.  We must get in touch with our inner Calvin Coolidge.  Now is the time to roll back spending and get our debt under control.  Delaware must live up to our nickname "The First State".  We must lead the nation into prosperity by reestablishing fiscal sanity.  It's time to get our public employee pensions under control and back in line with the private sector.  We must ensure that our state is debt free.  Our federal government must do the same.  We must roll back spending and cut in EVERY department.  Yes, even the Department of Defense must make cuts.  That doesn't mean we should leave our nation unsecured.  We must maintain the security of the nation but there are plenty of areas where we can cut fraud, waste and abuse, out of date programs and overpriced services.  Our nation prospered for more than 100 years without massive government spending by relying on the goodness of our society and placing the trust largely in faith based organizations.  Americans are the most generous people in the world, especially to our own people.  It's time that we take back the responsibility of caring for one another from the government.  This is not all theatrics and theoretical either.  There is a practical reason to reduce our spending.  Reducing our spending will lead to the elimination of our debt.  This stabilizes our economy, protects the value of our currency and it leads to more certainty in the markets.  Spending cuts alone, like tax cuts alone, are only a temporary fix.  There is a ceiling when one is undertaken without the other.  That's why our state and federal taxes should be reduced by at least 10% across the board, our state and national corporate taxes should be eliminated at least for 24 months and our state and national death taxes abolished.  Cutting taxes puts more money back into the pockets of individuals and businesses who will invest in more innovation and increase the economic output of America.  Further, every time taxes are cut, under Reagan, under Kennedy and under Coolidge, revenue to the government has increased.  The greatest benefits were realized under Coolidge when spending AND taxes were cut.  Then, America REALLY prospered.

Cutting spending and taxes will by extension cut the size and scope of government at all levels.  Under the Obama administration, we have seen an expansion of executive power not seen since Teddy Roosevelt.  Anything that the administration wants, that the Congress cannot pass, the administrations regulatory czar  Cass Sunstein does with regulations.  We've seen it with provisions in the healthcare bill like death panels and with restrictions on energy usage and pollution.  We must shrink the power that the federal government holds back to where it was intended to be.  Government was never intended to be efficient because government is powerful.  The more efficient it becomes, the more control it usurps and the more liberty we lose.  In Delaware the state is likewise becoming too large.  They are telling us where we can use the phone, where we can smoke and what we can throw away.  Our lives are becoming decided by bureaucrats instead of ourselves.  We must take back responsibility for our own care.  Our founders believed that man could rule himself and I agree.  It's our time, we must seize the day.

Our markets face an increasing encroachment by the federal government.  Our auto industry, banking industry and our energy industry are all but under the direct control of our federal government.  Labor unions now control the auto industry and our teaching corps and they have formed an unholy alliance with the Obama Administration.  The time is now to end this encroachment, get the government out of our markets.  Our federal government needs to get out of our industries, reduce burdensome regulations and create a fiscal climate where the private market can thrive and grow.  Here in Delaware, we've heard more than our fair share of times that Delaware is creating a "partnership" with business.  I must respectfully ask, where's the beef?  Corporations like GM, Chrysler, Valero and now HSBC are fleeing Delaware left and right.  I think it's time that Delaware's government did what it said it would.  I think it's time that the state created a climate where private business can thrive. 

You can listen to President Obama and Governor Markell and you can take in their words and what you will end up with is....9.8% national unemployment (8.5 in Delaware) and jobs leaving the state and nation like water over Niagara Falls or you can listen to our founders and return to their original principles and get real prosperity.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Keith Olbermann fired...

Hours after the FCC approved Comcasts purchase of MSNBC, moron commentator Keith Olbermann was shown the door (couldn't have happened to a nicer really...).  MSNBC fired the fiery hothead presumably because MSNBC's ratings have been in the toilet.  Much to the dismay of his ultra liberal supporters, most of America (like 80+ percent) think Olbermann is too far left and too insane for their tastes.  NBC/Universal released the following polite statement:

"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast
of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks
Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in
his future endeavors."
Olbermann is only one of a slew of terrible MSNBC commentators whose rhetoric fires up the 10 percent of ultra leftists who seek the overthrow and destruction of America.  My sincere desire is to see MSNBC succeed so if Comcast is reading this, please do not hesitate to fire Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schulz, Chris Matthews, Dylan Ratigan and Lawrence O'Donnell.  Getting rid of Keith was a good start.  Paying that kind of money to Keith in the 8 oclock time slot opposite Bill O'Reilly is just silly.
One final thought....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Castle County is more BROKE than we thought

Recently, the News Journal broke stories (2 months too late) that prove Chris Coons is nothing short of a liar.  Both were from a report by Independent observer Dace Blaskovitz.  Coons spent more than 6 months telling Delawareans (especially New Castle County residents) that he was responsible with the County finances and that it was not in trouble.  He told us that everything was fine and that he was able to save the county from the brink of a fiscal meltdown.  Today, the News Journal's Chad Livengood has another story on the fiscal woes of New Castle County.  The new County Executive, Paul Clark (the man of a thousand ethics problems), has put in place a 30 person transition team ($$$$) to figure out how to get the county out of the HUGE hole it's in. 

What hole you ask?  If you've only been listening to Chris Coons, Paul Clark, Tim Sheldon and the rest of the Democrats in New Castle County government you would be unable to see the huge hole in county finances that they were hiding.  If County Council did not know the MASSIVE gap between spending and revenue existed then it is time to fire every single one of them (and this includes Councilman Weiner if he knew and was silent).  Folks, this is an absolute TRAVESTY of justice.  New Castle County began the new millennium with a $200 million SURPLUS and by 2015, if nothing changes, we will be $68 million in debt.  It will have swung 134% in the opposite direction.  This is DESPITE an increase in sewer fees of more than 60%, increases in other fees including the introduction of a new fee on contractors and a 54% increase in property taxes.  Does this sound like fiscal responsibility to you?  Could you do this at home?  Let's say you already had a huge savings account but were spending more than you made and you asked your boss for a raise of more than 60% and got it.  Now your pay has increased by more than 60%, you are spending all of your income and you still are eating into your savings account at more than 6% per year . You are to the point where you will be IN DEBT within 4 years.  Would it be time to go your boss for another raise or perhaps to address your spending habit?

Well according to Clark's transition team ($$$$) it's time to come to you for a raise.  Oh, Clark doesn't think that you property owners can afford more property taxes.  Instead he and his team will focus their "revenue enhancements" on "raising sewer bills to pay for federally-mandated improvements, charging for inspections of rental homes, cutting grass in county parks less frequently and county-wide reassessment of property values."  No mention of selling county land BACK to the private individuals who managed it before (like Carousel Park which was a net PLUS before the County took it over).  The report also calls for personnel cuts but it does not get specific except to say that the county should hire MORE employees in key areas.  In fact, the finance committee ($$$$) stated that it did not want to recommend specifics to actually FIX the structural problems with County government yet later in the report they call for Clark to lobby the General Assembly for the same 911 tax that Chris Coons lobbied for in 2007

The countywide reassessment of property values would be painful to some and easing on another.  The fact is that it MUST be done.  Homeowners today have their land values assessed at the 1983 level.  That's the same value as houses built almost 30 years ago.  Also addressed by the transition team is the suggestion that Clark address the county employee pay and benefits.  Currently many (mostly union members) county employees are receiving step increases annually and have MASSIVE pensions that are coming due more and more rapidly.  About 45% of the 1,400+ full-time county employees currently receive "step raises".  On the pension front, the report calls for the county pensions to be rolled into a more manageable 401(k) plan that is in line with private sector benefits.  This has of course, set the public employees unions into a tizzy.  Some of the county leaders have shouted that Coons and Clark have filled vacancies and then forced current employees to take pay cuts thereby punishing current employees.  ENOUGH!  I'm sick and tired of this stupid argument, hurting current employees by hiring new ones.  FOR YEARS the suggestions from every transition team and independent audit has been to deal with two things:
  1. Public employee Pensions
  2. The cost of the size of government (a.k.a. personnel costs)
And for years the unions and county managers have screamed that the county politicians are hiring new people and screwing current employees.  Meanwhile politicians have asked for the unions to take pay cuts.  Folks, they are both right!  The bottom line is that vacant positions must be eliminated and public sector employees must take cuts to pay and benefits.  It's unsustainable as it stands and the people don't want the cost for the services they are provided.  It's THAT simple.  That may mean we have to cut services or do more with less.  That is an issue that private companies face every single day.  It's called a tough choice and these politicians claim that they make them every day.  They are lying to us.  Their answer is to raise fees, that's the easy way out.  It's like us telling our bosses that we are going to TAKE a raise and not simply asking for it.

Folks, how long will we continue to sit back and let these people take every dollar we make in taxes?  When is enough going to be enough?  A sewer fee is no different than a property tax folks.  It's a tax in a different area of our life but it is a tax.  Are we that STUPID New Castle County?  Where is the line?  Please tell me, comment here, let me know, where do we draw the line?  When do we hold Chris Coons, Paul Clark, Tim Sheldon and the rest of these people accountable?  Electing Tom Kovach doesn't hold them accountable, Tim Sheldon is still on County Council.  Electing Tom Kovach is a STEP in the right direction but folks we need to elect people who will actually TAKE these steps that need to be taken.  We need to stop the union control of the county and work to bring the county back in line.  By balancing county government we will be able to focus on job creation in the private sector, returning companies like Dupont and others to prosperity by opening up new opportunities to bring their business efforts BACK to Delaware.  I say the time is now, what say you?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On a slow news day...

Delaware news is dominated by "breaking news" that Christine O'Donnell submitted paperwork to form her political action committee.  They seemed to be surprised about the fact that Christine was able to file the paperwork to start a PAC to do independent expenditures for candidates and raise an unlimited amount of money.  The name of the PAC is ChristinePAC.  News at 11.

Honestly?  Folks....I really don't even know what to say anymore about these people.  Is there ANY hope for journalism?  I applaud Christine for starting the PAC and as soon as I know more about it I will post that information.  Unlike the LSM (Lame Stream Media) I'm going to wait till there is more substance and *gasp* a website. News...when it happens.

Zo gives you a drop of Macho Sauce in remembrance of MLK

Zo gets it.  I'm not gonna bore you with a long dissertation on his post because his post speaks for itself but I'm linking the video here because he speaks to many who might be confused by a few things.  This is a good time for this video too because next week, I will be helping Founders Values tackle things in the Constitution that the Congress left out in their reading earlier this month because they were "controversial".  Without further ado, click the video below and let Zo drop it on you.  And then, head on over to his spot and check out his post in remembrance of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King.