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Archive for February, 2010

Fethullah Gulen is major sponsor of charter schools all over the USA. Now they have applied to open one in DE.

A quick web search reveals them to be either a great institution or a terrorist outpost which uses the school’s constant stream of money to support activities.

Just an FYI.

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In 2008, Congress passed the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) which, among other things, established a high-speed rail  corridor development program.   To be eligible for federal funding under the program, projects must be located in designated high-speed rail corridors. 

Nationally, there are 11 designated high-speed rail corridors. Amazingly, the Northeast Corridor (NEC) is not one of them and states located along the NEC cannot compete for project funding under the PRIIA. As a result, the NEC is missing out on money for badly needed infrastructural improvements and upgrades.

This state of affairs is amazing for several reasons. First, the NEC is the location where intercity passenger rail has been most successful since the creation of Amtrak in the early 1970’s. This isn’t surprising- to be successful, intercity rail service depends on high population densities. Unlike many locations in America, the area through which NEC passes has population density, urbanization, and congestion, at many points akin to European levels. As such, it is probably the best location for a true high-speed rail line in the entire country. Second, the NEC is the location of America’s sole existing “higher speed” passenger rail service- the Acela. Third, improvements to the NEC would benefit rail passengers now, not in some speculative future because more passengers travel on the NEC annually than on all other passenger rail lines in America combined!

There is a very old military axiom- reinforce success. The NEC is our most successful, and most utilized, passenger rail corridor, located in the region most suitable for high-speed rail. Let’s reinforce that success through equitable funding for rail improvement projects that will improve service on this route. Let’s invest in that success, and make the NEC the flagship high-speed rail corridor project in the nation. Designated high-speed rail corridor status for the NEC is the only sensible course of action here, and one which will benefit rail passengers in Delaware, and throughout the region.

Thankfully, Congressman Mike Castle is taking action to remedy this situation and to ensure equitable treatment for America’s premier passenger rail route. Congressman Castle is proposing legislation to amend the PRIIA and designate the NEC as a “high-speed rail corridor.” This would permit NEC projects to compete for funding on an equal footing with projects in other designated corridors across the nation, and would ensure that our region received an appropriate share of federal transportation funding.

Congressman Castle is holding a press conference at the Wilmington Amtrak station on Monday, March 1 at 11:15 a.m. to discuss the proposed legislation. I highly encourage readers interested in this issue to attend.

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The Italians are right.

For those of you who are 1st Amendment right lovers beware you will not like this.

But’s that’s ok because my stance makes sense and best of all it protects’ kids.

In Italy this week a Judge sentenced executives of YOU TUBE founder, Google to jail for allowing a video to be displayed of a disabled kid being attacked by classmates.

Yea it seems draconian but it reinforces the need for some freaking limits on what people can post about other people without any authority let alone responsibility for their actions.

You tube and facebook have made running a school an impossibility. Johnny puts something up at midnight and there’s a brawl the next day in the cafeteria.

This isn’t free speech, it’s free gossip mongering. An adult company like Google needs to be able to monitor what is posted on their site.

Good for the Italian Judge!

Ask any American school principal and they will tell you online bs has further crippled their ability to maintain a safe and orderly school environment.

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“I have never seen [Congress] as unified as we are now.”  Those were the words of Senator Bill Nelson describing the reaction to President Obama’s proposal to effectively cede our nation’s dominance in space by axing critical pieces of our manned spaceflight program.  

Bipartisanship in this Congress?  In this bitter, partisan climate on the eve of an election? It must take a really bad idea to produce that sort of unanimity.   Actually, that is probably understating things… so let me put it this way…  President Obama’s plan to cut NASA’s Constellation project, and in so doing, end our ability to conduct manned spaceflight missions on our own.. is not just a really bad idea,  it’s an awful one. 

As reported by Spaceflight:

White House plans to axe NASA‘s return-to-the-Moon Constellation programme and ground the Space Shuttle have sparked unified opposition from Congress, which looks determined to preserve a full spectrum of US manned spaceflight activities.

A draft Congressional bill leaked to Flight International sets out the politicians’ alternate plan. It involves possibly extending Shuttle life to 2015, running competitive commercial crew and cargo programmes and continuing development of Constellation’s vehicles including a heavylift rocket designed to get astronauts to the Moon in the 2020s and then Mars.

In a heated hearing on Capitol Hill, President Obama’s NASA administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut and Shuttle commander, had to defend his deputy Lori Beth Garver and the president’s plan to shift NASA’s focus from missions to capabilities under the fiscal year 2011 budget request.

In the 24 February hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee’s science and space subcommittee one senator criticised Garver as the alleged author of the plan and budget, which the subcommittee’s members described as ending all US human spaceflight efforts with its retirement of the Shuttle fleet this year and cancellation of the Constellation.

Referring to the space programme as bipartisan, subcommittee chairman senator Bill Nelson of Florida says of the opposition to the Obama plan: “I have never seen [Congress] as unified as we are now.”

Much of the Congressional opposition to Obama’s plan stems from estimates pegging direct job losses from cutting Constellation, Shuttle and other programmes at 30,000, including 7,000 at the Kennedy Space Center.

Bolden told the hearing that the Obama exploration goal was Mars, but during the early February budget roll-out he said that the plan’s destinations would be decided by a “national conversation”.

President Obama’s chief advisor for science and technology, the infamous Dr. John Holdren, also faced tough questioning on the Administration’s space plans.   At the conclusion of Dr. Holdren’s February 24th testimony, Rep.  Robert Aderholt (R-AL)  put it this way:  “The President’s decision to end the Constellation program is reckless and could cripple U.S. human spaceflight for an unknown number of years. Relying on commercial companies that in some cases have little experience with building manned space systems will severely weaken our standing as the world’s leader in human space flight.”

Mr. President, there is your national conversation.   Our nation will not  simply cede its preeminence in space to foreign powers.  We will not merely walk away from the new frontier.  We recognize that Russia is, perhaps, not the most reliable taxi service; regardless, a dependency on her, or any other country, to launch our astronauts into space is a national humiliation….  Most of all, we remain a nation of optimists and the longer you govern, the more we realize that you do not share our positive vision of the dream that is America and her place in the world.

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Charlie’s Soulmate.

Aha there is another Charlie Copeland type guy out there. This guy has cut taxes, created jobs and supported public education.

He also got re-elected by 18% last time, earned 27% of young voters and 20% of African Americans.

He also cut taxes. hired social workers and likes you-tube.

He also brought in a Nestle plant, 2 Honda plants – that’s right 2 – and got BP to open up shop whereas here in DE, Valero has closed. These plants – what an old fashioned word that means high school graduates can have a stable career where they can buy a 3 bedroom rancher, get married and coach Litttle League – prove America can still compete.

His name is Mitch Daniels – Governor of Indiana and he may just be our Ronald Reagan for Barack is surely their Jimmy Carter. 

Copeland in 12 – we’ll love our Guv!

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More Boondoggles

Boondoggle 3

Last week I heard that Governor Markell planned to purchase hybrid cars to save money given our dire financial straits. Who has ever saved a dime by buying a hybrid?!!!  Apparently there is a doofus in DE state government thinks that we will be the first.  Every analysis of these little gems that I have read prove that they will be in the scrap yard polluting the groundwater with their lithium batteries years before you save enough gas to pay for their higher cost.  I think that I see a cloud of Smug (obscure South Park reference) forming over Dover.  It may be a combination of this and the one being generated by the Dover city council with their solar installation, which I wrote about previously, that is set to fleece their poor citizens.

Boondoggle 4

Wilmington is installing 2,300 solar panels at one of the city’s water filtration plants.  They will save $60,000 per year.  They will also be selling Delmarva Power $120,000 per year in renewable energy credits, so they claim to be “saving or creating” (obscure Obama reference) $180,000 per year.  Let’s set aside for the moment that the only way Delmarva gets the money to buy the credits is by raising their rates to the taxpayers; so while the taxpayer is not paying the $120,000 to the city, it is just being collected in higher utility bills.

These solar panels are costing the taxpayer $8.9 million!!!  That means that even counting the phony credits, it would be 49 years before any money would be saved!  (There was a good letter about this in the NJ yesterday.  He beat me to publication.)  But these things will have been hauled away to the dump 20 years before that.  The city says that most of this will be paid for with federal money.  No one seems to quite get that it is all the same source.  It is a lousy deal for the taxpayer no matter who extracts the money from them.

I really hope that someone is getting a big kickback for selling the taxpayers down the river with all of this nonsense because the alternative is that the people making these decisions are  really stupid.  I would much prefer that they were crooks than idiots.  At least crooks can be entertaining while the tax money disappears, you might even end up with a good movie or maybe a miniseries and it makes for great conversation.  Plus, crooks can be thrown out of office, into jail and you are rid of them (except in DC of course).  Idiots are forever or at least until retirement.

I do not have any objection to people selling these phony energy saving gadgets nor do I have an objection to people voluntarily buying them with all of their own money.  It is when the money being wasted is taken from people under the threat of prison and death that I object.  Look at the jerk governor of Maryland.  Broke like the rest of the states, but he signs up to pay double or triple for windmill electricity.  Stupid, yes but no evidence of crookedness.

Thanks to JJ1234 for reminding me of  “boondoggle” in his/her comment to a previous posting about solar panels.  It is the perfect word.

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Austerity in Greece versus DE

The Greek government is in disarray. Spending must be cut. Taxes raised. Public employee unions must learn to live with less.

In Greece the unions strike because the elected officials give them the big middle …… whereas in Delaware Mike Begatto goes boo and 3/4’s of the General Assembly runs to grovel to him promisig that the “working men and women of this state will never shoulder the burden of a budget that makes lard look healthy.”

So in Greece the elected officials do what is necessary for tough times yet in Delaware many of our elected officials just duck.

Kind of embarassing isn’t it?

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