Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mental Health Sensitive Court Calendar

Cheers to Superior Court, and Judge Jan R. Jurden, for acknowleding the unique challenges that our mentally ill constituents face when dealing with the judicial system and managing their treatment. Calling it "Mental Health Court", the Court has set aside a separate calendar to more effectively assist these clients in graduating out of the viscious cycle in which they many times find themselves.

And the Court is coordinating its efforts in the light of national movements as well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

PHL Ranked Best Major Airport - JD Powers and Associates fall down on the job

Frustrated Fliers Rank Best, Worst Airports - Money News Story - WCAU Philadelphia Philadelphia International Airport the best!?!?! Really??? What are they smoking?

I have lost all confidence in the JD Powers organization's ability to accurately study and report. I have flown extensively. Philadelphia International is by far the worst large airport that I have been in. I will go to great lengths to avoid it, because of the delays and their 90% proven track record of losing my luggage. Yes... 90% of the time that I fly out of PHL, my luggage is mishandled and misplaced.

Perhaps the flaw in the study was because they were interviewing people who are still flying from that airport? Maybe they should interview the refugees like me, instead?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Good Riddance

Today in the News Journal I read that a group of teens have started a "boycott Christiana Mall" campaign. The mall has recently required parental or adult supervision on certain weekend and evening hours.

The teens reasoning ranges from... they come there to spend money, so they shouldn't be excluded... to... they have the legal right to drive, so they should have the right to go in the mall.

Well, Christiana Mall is private property. As such, within certain constitutional limits, the owners can exclude who they want to, when they want to. We have no "right" to demand access to another person's private property.

It has been the boisterous, disrespectful, and criminal behaviour of some amongst the teen crowds which have made the mall unpleasant and unsafe for society and the mall employees. Certainly it is not all teenagers who act this way at the mall. But the restrictions imposed seem reasonable and appropriate.

Adult and parental supervision is lacking in our society now across the board. Not just in the malls but everywhere. The lack of personal and parental responsibility is a significant factor in many social problems that we face.

Friday, June 27, 2008

D.C. vs Heller; The Supreme Court Speaks Out on Civil Rights

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court defended our citizens' civil rights again!

In the case of District of Columbia vs Heller, the Court confirmed that we still have the individual right to keep and bear arms as set forth in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

A full copy of the Opinion (link below) may take us a while to read and digest, but the short answer is... our bulworks of freedom have withstood another assault from those who would erode our civil rights.


One perspective on the concept of "militia" that I have not yet seen addressed in my skim of the Opinion, is that it is important to remember when conducting this analysis that The United States was formed and initially defended by individuals with their own personal firearms who assembled and dared to stand up against the previous government. The Constitution clearly states that we are at least to maintain that. How are we to maintain this ability if we change the meaning of "militia" to now mean the army of the government? The armed forces of These United States (which I fully support) are yet still the standing army of the government that the "militia" could be called upon to oppose, should the federal government continue to try to erode our individual and states' rights.

Some say that the National Guard is the new militia. I suggest to you that the evolution of the National Guard has taken it many strides from the constitutional concept of the militia. How different really is the National Guard from the standing federal army? I say it is not so different, when a stroke of the pen from the President can nationalize and mobilize the National Guard.

But alas, the horse is dead. The result of the Decision is correct. And we can still yet live in a free America.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Safe Kids Card

The State of Delaware is giving parents the opportunity to take advantage of the Safe Kids Card Child Identification Program, which keeps records every parent should have on hand in one place, in case of an emergency situation where a child is missing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Protack Off-Track

In today's Wilmington News Journal, candidate for governor, Mike Protack's plan for dealing with illegal immigration is unveiled. I suggest that it is misguided and the costs are severely underestimated.

It seems to me that the real problem we are facing in this regard is the under-collection of taxes as compared to the increase in public services provided. And this is because employers are breaking the laws by hiring illegal workers and by refusing to collect the wage taxes and withholdings. It seems from the article that Mr. Protack agrees with this concept.

Where we differ then is in how to deal with the problem. Protack suggests that by equipping the police with better technology, and by requiring everyone above the age of 16 to carry official identification, the government can make sure they know who is in the State and what they are doing. I say hogwash. The government is invasive enough as it is.

The cost of the technology and ID cards is miniscule as compared to the cost of harassment to all of us, illegals and legals alike. And Protack suggests that everyone that shows up on the computer as illegal be arrested on the spot and handed over to immigration officials. Does he have any clue what cost that would pose on our police systems? I can see it now... busloads of undocumented persons being bounced back and forth between Dover and Philadelphia because nobody has room for them and nobody will accept them. That plan is doomed.

Why don't we attack the problem where the problem is? The problem is with employers not collecting the taxes and withholdings. The problem is the wink-and-nod culture that we have cultivated here in America, by Americans, and for American greed. If we enforce the laws which require the collection of taxes and withholdings, then the rest of the problem will go away. We won't need multi-Billion Dollar boondoggle fences and other extreme losses of the personal liberties we cherish. Harassing the immigrants only attacks the symptom of the problem, not the cause of the problem.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Delaware Nuisance Law

A house in Wilmington has been ordered closed under the Delaware Drug Nuisance and Social Vices Abatement Act. It is the first time such action has been taken in Wilmington. However, similar action was previously taken against a house in West Rehoboth.

I have mixed feelings about this law. It seems like a great idea on the surface- I don’t think your average law abiding citizen thinks “my dream house is going to be right next to a crack house.” I guess what worries me is the potential for abuse with the provisions about lewd acts and obscene material.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Lethal Injection Moratorium Lifted

A recent Supreme Court ruling, Baze v. Rees, ended the Federal moratorium on lethal injections in the United States. In Delaware, a State Supreme Court judge rejects lethal injection challenge but a Federal Court appeal is still pending.

What I find particularly outrageous about the lethal injection challenge is that Robert Jackson III, the criminal that first made the claim that the lethal injection in Delaware is “cruel and unusual punishment,” murdered his victim with an ax in her home. Did she have the choice whether or not she wanted to be killed in a way that was so brutal??

Friday, May 02, 2008

Absurdity Reigns in Red Clay Consolidated School District

With much pomp and circumstance, the Red Clay Consolidated School District asked tax payers to approve a 16.9% tax increase to help the financially-strapped school district. Approval of the referendum was to allow the District to, among other things, meet its payroll obligations and restore middle-school sports teams and activity clubs ( Perhaps, most importantly (at least from the perspective of this father of a kindergarten-nearing toddler), the District was also to use a portion of the revenue generated by the increase in tax to meet its obligations under the Full-day Kindergarten Act. In fact, the actual ballot for the referendum specifically stated how the funds generated by the increase were to be used (

Seems rather straight-forward to me: residents, in conjunction with the State of Delaware, provide money to the District, District provides services which include Full-day Kindergarten. Simple, right? Au contrare, mon frère!
After much cajoling by local school representatives as well as serious advertising campaigns by the District, residents approve the referendum and step one is complete. However, District officials were so busy backslapping one another on the success of their work that they fail to see the tidal wave in the distance. The tidal wave, in this instance, is word coming forward that funds originally slated to be given to the District by the State to support the Full-day Kindergarten Program (as well as others) is in jeopardy of being part of the $30 million budget cut proposed by the State’s General Assembly (
While, admittedly, I am no Adam Smith when it comes to economics, it does seem rather unfair, and perhaps downright fraudulent, to solicit funds from taxpayers in return for services to be provided and then to pull the rug out from under them as a result of proposed budget cuts. Perhaps instead of cutting programs and deceiving the public regarding usage of State and local funds, the State and school Districts wisely use the revenue received from the tax hike as well as the money from the proposed budget cuts to investigate and answer the more important question, namely,

Why, in a State of approximately 900,000 residents within 3 counties, do we have 19 school superintendents (or roughly 6.33 Superintendents per county) and multiple layers of bureaucracy and administrative staff for which we, as state residents, have to pay; which, in turn, deprives our children of funds to be used for their educational and social growth?

The absurdity of it all (and that which causes me great anger and forces me to consider the merits of abolishmment of the current Education System in the State of Delaware and full reform):

Our neighbor, the State of Maryland, has an estimated population of 5.6 million (living within 24 different counties), and has only 1 superintendent per county. I wonder what they do with all the extra money they have as a result of adequate usage of personnel and resources. Unfortunately, I think everyone in the State of Delaware (outside of our Education System) and especially those of us in the Red Clay Consolidated School District knows but is afraid to acknowledge (

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another Perspective

For an alternative perspective, related to John F. Brady for Delaware State Insurance Commissioner, information can be found at his campaign website.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Puppy Love

Monday my mother and son were on a mission to find a new, furry family member. Sunday night we discussed what I was looking for. I wanted one that would be friendly, good with kids, and protective of us. I was in 4th grade when my parents brought home our first Irish Setter. We have had six of them among the family. They are great dogs with fun personalities and they could not be any better with children. A setter was first on my list. A couple of friends of mine mentioned that the Eastern Shore Animal Rescue League rescues English Setters from kill shelters and tries to find homes for them. So my mother and son went there to meet the dogs and they were smitten. They brought Rudy home with them that day. He is the most delightful animal I have ever met. He is sweet, affectionate, and great with my son. However, he must not have had the greatest life before because he is afraid of so many things from the kitchen to the back yard after dark. We are slowly overcoming his fears; he is no longer afraid to ride in my car. He is also in need of training. He does not seem to be familiar with the command sit at all, but we have been working on heel with him and he is doing really well with it. Hopefully within a couple of months he will be fully settled in and not so afraid any more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Zoomed by a Satellite?

We have been seeing the news reports of how the Navy performed a wonderful feat, by destroying a disabled spy satellite with a missile shot from the USS Lake Erie. If our troops did that, they deserve a "high five". I support our troops. Its a shame that the civilian part of the government casts such a large shadow of incredibility that it touches on our guys and gals in the trenches.

Maybe I've been watching too much TV, but I am skeptical of anything that our current government tells us. With the erosion of civil rights for our native citizens in the guise of 911 reprisals, and the cascade of lies that have been thrown at us, I am more likely to believe one of the following scenarios than the one publicized :

A. A foreign power has placed an offensive military satellite with a nuclear or biological payload into orbit. The US decides to destroy it; or

B. The US has botched up something very badly in a scientific NASA project, and decided to shoot it down rather than become embarrassed by it.

The story presented by the goverment portrays the government in a responsible, eco-friendly, light, cleaning up some cold war mess. It portrays a highly effective missile defense system, that most assuredly will need more funding in the near future.

The portrayal just doesn't jive with the government that I have come to know. I love our country. I served in the armed forces. But I hate being treated like a mushroom. GW has been spreading manure around us for so long now, I expect this is just another load.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adventures of a New Homeowner

Last month I went to settlement on my first home. It was not a brand new house of my dreams, but rather an older home with tons of potential. Now it is up to me to take it from home with potential to home of my dreams. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic, but I think I can do it. However, every time I look at my little castle, all I can see is a list of things to be done. This is the tale of the first item on the list—dealing with the old paneling that is EVERYWHERE in my house. I understand that there was a time period when wood paneling was all the rage, but it is even on the ceiling in my dining room. How could anyone have ever thought that wood paneling on a ceiling was a good idea???

This weekend, hammer and pry bar in hand, I started the task of pulling down the heinous GREEN paneling that was on one wall of my office. Two boo-boos, lots of cursing, and 4 hours later my room was liberated of the nasty green paneling. The job itself was not bad. However, looking at the walls under the paneling with the 5 or 6 layers of old wallpaper dating back to the 1950s, all of the nail holes, and the remaining glue that held the paneling up, I am rethinking my strategy. Since applying new drywall to every room of the house is not an option for me (nasty drywall allergy and big swollen cartoon hands), I did some researching to see what else could be done.

In the course of my research I came across three methods that did not seem so bad:
1. Covering Paneling With Drywall Compound
2. Paint Wood Paneling
3. Transform wood paneling using wallpaper to cover grooves

I was wondering, though, if anyone reading this had any good suggestions (short of blowing up the house and starting again) for dealing with hideous wood paneling.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Old Documents - With Current Relevance

Inspired by reading a News Journal article this morning, about the oldest documents in the State Archives (letters and such of a Swedish settler, also bearing signatures of Governor Printz), I dug into the back of the vault to pull out some of my most favorite reading materials.

I have several old books from the colonial period, bearing owner signatures of historical significance. Last year I tried to donate them the the University of Delaware Library because I saw what a nice facility they have for maintaining fragile old documents. But alas, the UD was so awash with its own cumbersome bureaucratic self-important inefficiency, that I could never get a call back from the right department.

My favorite read is not my oldest book. It is Principles of Revolution (that's the short title for the actual Title... Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America: or, an attempt to Collect and Preserve Some of the Speeches, Orations, & Proceedings, With Sketches and Remarks on Men and Things, and other Fugitive or Neglected Pieces, Belonging to the Revolutionary Period in the United States; Which Happily, Terminated in the Establishment of their Liberties: With a view to represent the feelings that prevailed in the "Times that Tried Men's Souls," to Excite a Love of Freedom, and Lead the People to Vigilance, as the Condition on Which it is Granted, By H. Niles).

Just the long version of the title to the book alone inspires me. They sure had a way with words. This is an 1822 book with inscriptions by such familiar people as Commegys; Polk, and the like.

Today I will attempt to transcribe a letter from His Excellency George Washington to General Gage, from Caimbridge, August 11, 1775:

Sir - I understand that the officers, engaged in the cause of liberty and their country, who by the fortune of war, have fallen into your hands, have been thrown indiscriminately into a common jail appropriated for felons - that no consideration has been had for those of the most respectable rank, when languishing with wounds and sickness- that some of them have been even amputated in this unworthy situation.

Let your opinion, sir, of the principle which actuates them, be what it may, they suppose they act from the noblest of all principles, a love of freedom and their country. But political opinions, I conceive, are foreign to this point. The obligations arising from the rights of humanity, and claims of rank, are universally binding and extensive, except in the case of retaliation. These, I should have hoped, would have dictated a more tender treatment of those individuals, whom chance or war had put in your power. Nor can I forbear suggesting its fatal tendency to widen that unhappy breach, which you, and those ministers under who you act, have repeatedly declared you wish to see forever closed.

My duty now makes it necessary to apprise you, that, for the future, I shall regulate my conduct towards those gentlemen of your army, who are, or may be in our possessioin, exactly by the rule you shall observe towards those of ours who may be in your custody.

If severity and hardship mark the line of your conduct (painful as it may be to me) your prisoners will feel its effect; but if kindness and humanity are shown to ours, I shall, with pleasure, consider those in our hands only as unfortunate, and they shall receive from me that treatment to which the unfortunate are ever entitled.

I beg to be favored with an answer as soon as possible, and am, sir, your very humble servant.
G. Washington

Friday, February 08, 2008

$100 Reward! -- Anybody But Brady

I don't usually get involved in politics, mostly because it disgusts me. But once in a while I get spurred to speak, like now.

I noticed in today's News Journal that John F Brady has announced his candidacy for Insurance Commissioner. Oh my gosh. Please no.

My personal opinion, from having directly observed his behaviour and work product, is that he is not fit for the public service. I was duly unimpressed with his professionalism, ethics, and the quality of his work.

So with concern and a sense of desperate urgency, I say... "Anybody But Brady".

I pledge to contribute $100 each unto the first five legitimate candidates for Insurance Commissioner who oppose Mr. Brady. The first five to be determined by the time and date that they contact me by email at Legitimate is to be defined for these purposes as candidates who have formally filed their candidacy. This pledge is valid only for this election year.

I challenge other concerned citizens and businesses to match my pledge.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Government Crook Steals Millions In Time/Warner Fraud

According to the News Journal this morning, Anthony J Lofink plead guilty to stealing millions from Delaware's unclaimed property account (called escheat), largely by use of fraudulent documents involving the Time/Warner merger.

Lofink is shown here (on the right) leaving the federal courthouse in clothing bought with stolen funds. Photo by John Randolph/ Special to the News Journal.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 Presidential Race

I am a firm believer that every citizen of the United States has a responsibility to vote. I also believe that if a person does not vote, he or she should not complain about the way the country is being run. Since the election process is really starting to get some momentum, I decided to research the election process beginning with what is the difference between caucuses and primaries. Here is the best explanation I came across (caucus and primary information). In the course of this research I discovered that Delaware is holding a primary on February 5, 2008, so I figured I ought to brush up on what all of the candidates stand for so I can make an educated decision.

Democratic Candidates
Hillary Clinton clinton 2008 platform
Barack Obama obama 2008 platform

Republican Candidates
Mike Huckabee huckabee 2008 platform
John McCain McCain 2008 platform
Ron Paul paul 2008 platform

Other Party Candidates
Larry suggested that we include all of the candidates that represent the other parties. I started a search and was amazed to find this information other political party candidates. There were many more than I expected. Unfortunately I do not have enough time to devote to researching them all.

I hope this information proves helpful to everyone. Good luck making a decision and happy voting!!