Odds and ends number 112

It’s time for what seems to have become a monthly or so airing of those chunks of bloggy goodness I create out of the whole cloth of my e-mail box. Say that three times fast.

As always, these snippets run between a couple sentences and a few paragraphs depending on how much I can write about them, which is why at times things get “promoted” like my last article. Anyway…

An upcoming day of action

If you live in Delaware and are into the Article V convention idea, then June 7 is the day for you. Convention of States Action president Mark Meckler – yep, the guy of Tea Party Patriots fame and a familiar name to readers of Rise and Fall – is scheduled to lead a rally on the east steps of Leg Hall in Dover. But it won’t be a stand around and cheer event as those attending will fan out and try to convince legislators that we as a state should back an Article V convention. (This is why the event is on a Tuesday.)

One of the tasks given is to “deliver an information packet (provided) to your own legislators.” However, I suspect that my legislators would already be on board considering both properly voted against a 2016 blanket recission of existing convention calls (HCR60 in that session.) Hopefully someone can say hello to Bryant and Tim for me in that case.

There’s also some interesting reading on that front from CoS, as writer Jakob Fay addresses a critique of anti-CoS talking points and adds some insight of his own.

The bill to nowhere

Speaking of our esteemed legislature, it’s up to the Republicans to save us from a sneaky tax hike. Thanks to a lawsuit brought by the usual left-wing suspects who believe our public schools aren’t enough of a money sinkhole, the three counties in Delaware now have to reassess every single piece of property.

(The plaintiff in the lawsuit was a group called “Delawareans for Educational Opportunity” described in the suit as “parents of low income students, English language learners, children with disabilities in kindergarten through grade three, and other parents with students attending high poverty schools.” Since I doubt those parents had the coin to sue the state, it’s really that eeeeeeevil “dark money” the Left claims to hate behind it.)

To address this unapproved school tax hike, Rep. Mike Smith introduced a bill that insures “that school districts collect the same total revenue after reassessment as they did the previous year.” Yeah, when pigs fly. It’s a great idea, but we know that bill goes nowhere past committee because, to Democrats, too much money for schools is never enough. But ask for school choice and you get crickets.

As they always say, elections matter. Do better this year, Delaware.

Where are the jobs?

It’s always fun to see the conventional wisdom buckle under good old-fashioned analysis, and fortunately there’s somebody who’s paid to go through this data so I can share it.

One selling point of offshore wind was its job creation aspect, but a recent analysis by the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy put the lie to that. As David Stevenson concludes, “(study author) Wood Mackenzie is generally reliable, but this study misses by a country mile and is misleading elected officials and the public.”

It’s always been a pipe dream that we would somehow create thousands of jobs building, erecting, and maintaining wind turbines that only last about 20-30 years. Supposedly wind is free and renewable energy, but the millions of dollars needed to collect and harness it has to come from somewhere as does the natural gas backup plant required when the wind doesn’t blow for a spell, as happened off Europe last year.

There’s a reason I occasionally remind people that, once they received access to reliable electricity, farmers stopped using their windmills to create power.

Indivisible is so pissed over abortion

And this was an e-mail I got on Mother’s Day, no less – from a mother!

As you can imagine, the regressives at Indivisible are in a way over losing their cherished right to abort their babies practically at will. There are a couple lines worth mentioning and responding to.

The right-wing is trying to impose their narrow, cruel, patriarchal, white nationalist vision of the world on all of us. They want to force us into obeying their rules and living our lives bound by their twisted worldview. 

We deserve the right to make our own healthcare decisions. We deserve full control over our own bodies. We deserve full control over our own lives. 

Leah Greenburg, “Overturning Roe v Wade is deeply unpopular,” May 8, 2022.

Sorry, Leah, having a baby is not a “healthcare decision.” You ceded control of your body when you decided to have intercourse, so if the result of that is a human being with unique DNA then the burden is on you to carry it to term. At that point you concede “full control over our own lives” because there is another life inside you, full stop. (The irony here is that Leah and her Indivisible co-founder husband, Ezra Levin, have often put a photo of their young child at the end of their monthly newsletters.)

The second point is this:

This is a huge coup for the worst people in our country. But if you’re watching closely, you may have noticed that for a party on the verge of achieving one of its greatest goals, Republican elected officials don’t seem very happy. In fact, they don’t seem to want to talk about this at all. Instead, they’re talking about the circumstances of the leak. They seem to think if they can kick up enough of a fuss about how this came to light, everyone will forget about what the light reveals.

Ibid.

Of course the conservatives are talking about the leak because it’s unprecedented. We’re supposed to have trust in our institutions and leaking this decision was made for one reason and one reason only: to try and change someone’s mind, or, failing that, perhaps eliminate the problem. (Why do you think there’s additional security around the SCOTUS these days? This is why I thought the decision should just be released as is.)

Imagine if someone connected with a right-leaning justice had leaked the Obergefell decision taking away the states’ rights to recognize (or not to recognize) same-sex “marriage”? Wouldn’t the Left have demanded the ruling be made official immediately so that some gun-toting Deplorable didn’t coerce a justice into switching his or her vote to the right side? The Obama administration would have had Homeland Security and every other alphabet agency dropping all they were doing and turning over rocks to find the leaker so they could be punished.

So spare me the crying on both counts. Make Dobbs law and return abortion to the states so we can have our own crack at it. Speaking of that…

How to protect women (and babies)

I just became aware of this via Maryland Delegate Neil Parrott, a friend of this website and a two-time (and final) Maryland Legislator of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

In its infinitesimal wisdom, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill this spring allowing, among other things, non-physicians to do abortions (the Abortion Care Access Act), so there’s a group attempting to petition this to referendum this fall.

It’s an uphill battle to be sure – securing 25,000 signatures by May 31 and the rest of the 75,000 needed by June 30 – but if anyone knows how to do it, that would be Neil Parrott. I encourage my Maryland friends to participate.

Additional abortion insight

If you’re not reading the Substack of AND Magazine, you probably should be. I probably have eight or ten articles I could include here, including tomes on debit cards for illegal aliens and how those children are being forced to work, taking weapons away from our troops to send to Ukraine, Wuhan flu lockdowns in China, and so much more. In fact, it’s such good stuff I decided to pay for a month and see what else I can get. (What I receive for free is quite good.)

But since I’m talking about it: earlier this month, in what was basically three consecutive posts, Sam Faddis laid out part of the Left’s plan regarding abortion:

Once upon a time, the Democratic Party seemed to believe in the Democratic process. It focused on organizing and turning out the vote. No more. That party is dead.

It has been replaced by something that looks a lot like Marxist revolutionary movements throughout history. It has no use for the popular vote. It believes in the power of the state and when necessary, the use of mob violence to intimidate its foes. It is getting ready to unleash its thugs into the streets again in response to the anticipated reversal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court.

While Joe conjures up the specter of a right-wing, white supremacist, trans and gay-hating wave of domestic extremism, the radical domestic movement of which he is a part is already mobilizing and taking to the streets. If the Supreme Court exercises its authority, overturns Roe v. Wade, and returns the question of abortion to the legislatures where it properly belongs our cities will burn.

Sam Faddis, “They Don’t Just Want To Kill Babies – They Want To Kill The Republic,” AND Magazine, May 5, 2022. All emphasis in original.

And when the first pro-abortion protestor is cut down by police it will be George Floyd all over again. You don’t put up fences for peaceful protest.

Let’s go on, shall we?

A group calling itself ‘Ruth Sent Us’ is calling for its followers to invade the homes of those Supreme Court justices it has identified as being likely to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade

(…)

If you try to sign up to participate in a Ruth Sent Us event you are redirected to the site for an organization called Strike for Choice. This group is organizing similar actions all across the country targeting businesses and corporations that it does not believe have been sufficiently vocal in standing up for “reproductive freedom.

Strike for Choice operates under the umbrella organization Vigil for Democracy, which is actually organizing a whole series of “strikes” each one of which focuses on a different point in a far left agenda. Vigil for Democracy expresses a radical agenda explicitly directed at supporters of Donald Trump and members of the MAGA movement. Earlier this year it organized a series of “strikes” outside U.S. Attorney’s offices demanding that Republican lawmakers present in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 be arrested and tried for treason. In the old Soviet Union they called those show trials.

Sam Faddis, “Here Come The Foot Soldiers Of The Revolution,” AND Magazine, May 6, 2022. All emphasis in original.

These are the “thugs” that are being unleashed on the streets, as Faddis wrote. Several years ago I participated in a pro-life protest up in Easton and we just stood on a sidewalk on a day the Planned Parenthood branch there was closed, yet we had a police officer watching our truly non-violent protest. Obviously not everyone follows those rules.

Finally, Faddis concludes in his last piece:

What we are seeing is not protest. What we are seeing is not the work of disconnected local groups of concerned citizens. What we are seeing is an ongoing revolution with the intent of destroying the existing social, political and economic order. It exploded into view in the runup to the 2020 election and was aided and abetted by a new media which told us to ignore the obvious import of what we were seeing.

The target now is religion in America. Churches, synagogues, and mosques will burn. God himself is under attack.

Sam Faddis, “God Is Under Attack – The Mob Comes For Religion,” AND Magazine, May 9, 2022. All emphasis in original.

It so happens our church is currently participating in a fundraiser for a local pregnancy center. While Salisbury is fairly far away from the big city, it’s not unthinkable that their facility could be doxxed and vandalized because they promote alternatives to abortion. It tells me something when women are advised to avoid “pregnancy centers” by abortion advocates because when they visit such a place they may actually come to the realization that either they can get the support required to raise their child or can give the child to a loving adoptive family, like the adopted child of one of my relatives and his wife.

Finding my way onto mailing lists

When I used to blog on a daily basis back in the day, I was on a TON of mailing lists. (In essence, I used to try and write a single-subject odds and ends piece daily. That got to be too much with a family and full-time job.)

Once in awhile I still see the results of that time as new things slide into my e-mail. So it was with a group called People for Liberty. Now I have somewhat libertarian roots but maybe my guardrails have drawn a bit closer as I’ve gotten older and more into my faith.

But in reading about Bitcoin 2022, a National Liberty Day of Service, or a medical marijuana event called Chronic Palooza, it gave me an opportunity to reflect on how libertarianism as I see it seems to work.

In my mind, political thought is linear. You could imagine it being a highway, with one direction taking you through the villages of liberalism, socialism, and communism on the way to totalitarianism where one group controls everything and somewhere there is one person who controls that cadre. In the other direction you have the towns of conservatism and libertarianism, with the road leading to anarchy as every person has the ultimate in liberty. However, the nature of people dictates the Darwinian principle that only the strong survive, thus, somewhere there is one person who would reign supreme.

In other words, that line forms a circle where you end up in one place regardless of the road you take. Where I want to be is on the opposite end of that diameter where there’s an equal share of liberty and responsibility. In my mind, this is where faith tempers liberty to the extent required to place us on the opposite side.

I think I’m going to leave a very intense issue of odds and ends on that note. I was going to toss in some Rick Weiland for comic relief, but I’ve had enough of the loony left for now.

The trouble with populism

Anyone who has read here over the last 16 years or so can guess that, most of the time, I vote for the Republican candidate in a electoral race. But there have been exceptions over the years, especially when I have a Libertarian or Constitution Party candidate I like better, and 2020 was one of them.

When I endorsed for Delaware’s U.S. Senate race 18 months ago, I noted:

(Lauren Witzke) would be an almost automatic choice except for two places I vehemently disagree with her: one being the idea of incentivizing marriage and family through government policy (as opposed to that of merely not penalizing it) and the other being her stance against right-to-work as some sort of appeal to Big Labor voters – never mind that jobs tend to accrue to right-to-work states when all other conditions are substantially equal. Those are two big strikes against her, and her reaction to RBG’s death was very nearly strike three – somehow she managed to foul it off and stay alive.

“For Delaware 2020,” monoblogue, October 25, 2020.

Thanks to the Libertarians running a right-leaning candidate I voted for Nadine Frost instead, and it turned out I didn’t cost Lauren the race by doing so; in fact, she trailed all four other GOP statewide candidates and I don’t think it was because Chris Coons is all that popular.

The allusion to RBG upon her passing was really controversial, but in looking that gem up I found this quote from Witzke:

“Well the truth of the matter is that the Delaware GOP keeps losing and they think they can beat the liberals by becoming more liberal and that’s not gonna be the case, this is war.”

Roman Battaglia, Delaware Public Media, “GOP Senate candidate retains party backing, despite condemnation of social media posts,” September 21, 2020. Quoting Lauren Witzke.

Perhaps it’s a good thing Witzke hasn’t thrown her hat into the House race (since there’s no Senate race this year) because then how do you explain “becoming more liberal” with this social media complaint?

In full support of Student Loan Forgiveness:

Having crippling student loan debt makes it as difficult as possible for young people to buy a home, get married, and have children. An entire generation has become a slave to debt, signing their lives away at 18-not knowing that the US Government would import the third world to compete with them and push wages down in the workforce.

If the GOP was really the “party of the working-class” they would get behind this and get this done, in addition to seizing college endowments to prevent it from happening again.

Lauren Witzke, Social media post, April 28, 2022.

Never mind she got slaughtered in the comments, I have to say my piece too.

There’s a difference between conservatism and populism. One big worry I had about a Trump presidency early on was that the GOP would be pushed in a more populist direction, but he generally managed to straddle the line well and didn’t let his populist side out too much.

But in Trump’s term, he made two moves toward canceling student loans: in September 2019, before the CCP virus struck us, he signed an executive order that canceled student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans, which he estimated would save veterans “hundreds of millions” of dollars. And of course, during the pandemic Trump began the process of pausing student loan payments and interest that Joe Biden has continued, saving an estimated $90 billion for borrowers.

A pause of payments and interest, though, is a lot different than wiping out their student loan debt. And it wouldn’t necessarily help the working class, according to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy. Bear in mind that graduate degree holders – who don’t tend to be working-class – hold 56% of the outstanding student loan debt, so they would benefit the most from forgiveness.

It was a long, long time ago but I was one of those who took out student loans to go to college and I remember handing Sallie Mae about $120 or so a month beginning six months after graduation. I’m not going to say it was easy or that I always paid them on time, because student loans are a little like medical bills: hard to collect because you’re not taking away the ER visit for the flu, the knee replacement, or the bachelor’s degree if the payments are late like you can for a car or a house. But, over the span of fifteen years and a couple forbearances and refinances, I got my student loans paid off. Even as liberal as we considered Bill Clinton to be back in that era of my student loans, the idea of forgiving them for the masses was not seriously considered.

Aside from the giant issue with seizing college endowments – don’t you love it when government confiscates private property? – there are three huge problems with what Witzke and much of the other regressive community is backing.

First off, I’m still looking for the place where it says our federal government should have a role in education like this. One thing that disappointed me in the otherwise relatively stellar Reagan legacy is that he couldn’t convince the public to warn Congress that the Department of Education was really unnecessary, and maybe they need to think about defunding it if they wanted to stay in Congress. Reagan was a “Great Communicator,” but not so much a lobbyist for creating a public outcry for ridding us of an unnecessary Cabinet post. More recently I was hoping Betsy DeVos would help that process along, but, alas, Donald Trump couldn’t compete with the votes purchased with Zuckbucks and…well, you know what happened. Then again, you read what Trump did with student loans in the grafs above so I don’t believe he was really down with the struggle, either.

Secondly, it further erodes the idea of commitment. We already have issues with the concept when it comes to marriage and relationships in a culture where celebrities seem to be having a contest as to who can have the highest number of marriages and divorces and the most kids out of wedlock, with our society either cheering them on (as in “you do you”) or just turning a blind eye. This is how our culture has devolved since the era of our grandparents; an era which Witzke seems to want to restore – she uses the policies of the nation of Hungary as an example* – but this time through generous government subsidies that our ancestors didn’t need and, out of pride, would have likely refused anyway. Having the government step in and say, “yeah, we’ll pay off the student loans you took out for your womyn’s studies degree” just feeds the entitlement society we’ve become. Student loans, then, go from a hand up to just another handout.

Finally, on the college front, the biggest part of the reason those ivory towers have become so fat and happy financially these days – with those endowments that Witzke covets for government seizure in the millions or even billions of dollars – is that they have raised tuition and fees with impunity knowing that the government makes student loans widely available for any warm body they accept. Students don’t even have to get a degree, but the college gets paid for spouting off whatever the woke flavor of the day is and now the taxpayers will be footing the bill. If it were the colleges having to come up with the coin for the failures of their students, you better believe they would be more prudent and careful with who they let in and what is taught, don’cha think? It may make ditchdiggers out of all those “diversity, equity, and inclusion” department hires but the world needs honest labor, too.

There’s been a political cartoon turned meme making the rounds for awhile that makes the point more succinctly than I did, but I’ll go with a paraphrase: You took out a student loan, pay it back. I didn’t say it was easy or without sacrifice, but honor a commitment for once.

(*) I will give Lauren credit in that she writes well in an Ann Coulter vein. But I still disagree with her on this student loan thing.

Odds and ends number 111

Here you are…more of those nuggets of bloggy goodness that take up anywhere from a couple sentences to a few paragraphs. They’re things that weren’t enough to merit a full post but plenty worth writing about anyway. It’s one of my longest ongoing series for a reason. So read on…

The election in question

If it was worth my writing about, it’s worth giving the results. On Saturday the city of Seaford agreed with me that the incumbents were worth retaining in an overwhelming fashion: Mayor David Genshaw won by a margin of 412 votes to 189 for challenger Pat A. Jones and City Council member Matt MacCoy won with an even 400 votes against challenger Stacie Spicer’s 199. In terms of percentages, Genshaw had 68.55% and MacCoy had 66.78%, which to me seem like a hearty mandate to keep on the trajectory they’ve established. Congratulations to both and hopefully this is the start of a year of victories for common sense in Delaware.

A little runaway

Another cause I’ve championed recently is the idea of an Article V convention, more popularly known as a convention of states. But I briefly had a pause when I read this paragraph in a story about federal involvement in Alabama’s state affairs:

That is, unless We the People join with the states to call a Convention of States. A Convention of States is called under Article V of the Constitution and has the power to propose constitutional amendments that limit the power, scope, and jurisdiction of the federal government. 

What does this mean in plain English? Basically, amendments can be written that get the feds out of virtually every area of state policy. Healthcare, education, energy, the environment, and agriculture would be among the host of issues that could be left to exclusively state control.

“Article V Patriot,” “White House says they’re going to start targeting state lawmakers working to protect children from transgender surgeries, radical sexual ideology,” Convention of States Action, April 8, 2022. Emphasis in original.

Perhaps the biggest fear that opponents of an Article V convention have is the idea of a “runaway convention” where the people who ostensibly meet to write amendments that “limit the power, scope, and jurisdiction of the federal government” instead decide to do away with the Bill of Rights. While amendments can be written to get the federal government off the backs of the states, it follows that their role could be abolished, too.

I suppose the fact that 38 states have to ratify any amendment gives us a little bit of protection in that regard, as there would probably be 13 states that hold on to restraints on federal power. Unfortunately, there are probably as many that would oppose any conservative amendments out of spite and that’s the other area where work is needed.

I just didn’t think that particular analogy is a good “sell” for the CoS.

Thirty-eight with an asterisk*

Speaking of Constitutional amendments I got an e-mail from my old liberal pal Rick Weiland, who has branched out from his lack of success in South Dakota to a similar lack of grifting aptitude on a nationwide basis. A few weeks back he claimed it was time to enact the Equal Rights Amendment because it had passed in 38 states.

In 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and also the last state needed to meet all constitutional requirements to allow it to finally become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The ERA will add protections to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens, regardless of gender, nationwide.

We’re 4 months into 2022 and the ERA has not been published by the Archivist. The Archivist has an administrative duty to publish the amendment and thus officially add it to the Constitution, but refuses to overrule a Trump administration roadblock to do it.

Rick Weiland, “It’s time for the Equal Rights Amendment,” April 7, 2022. Emphasis in original.

That “Trump administration roadblock” is the logical result of five states since rescinding their ratification, either by outright legislation or by its not being ratified prior to a Congressionally-imposed deadline in 1982. Meanwhile, ERA advocates claim they have the numbers but need Congress to render inoperative both the deadline and the recissions, pointing to the length of time it took to pass the 27th Amendment – first proposed as part of the Bill of Rights in 1791, it wasn’t ratified until 1992. (However, Congress put no time limit on that one.) Their roadblock is the Republicans in the Senate, who have threatened to filibuster the Senate resolution (the House passed its version with a narrow majority.)

As I’ve stated from almost the beginning of this website, instead of an ERA this would be a better amendment:

Congress shall make no law that codifies discrimination for or against any person based on their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This Amendment shall also be construed to include a prohibition on Congress enacting additional criminal code or punishment solely based on these factors.

Pretty cut and dried, isn’t it? No mealy-mouthed “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” It’s “Congress shall make no law.” Let’s get that equal rights amendment done.

Creating more informed voters

Four years ago I was a Maryland panelist for iVoter Guide, which was a fun experience and pretty natural for me because I liked doing the research.

Well, they’ve been on the hunt for more volunteers and I reckon that their time to deal with Delaware and Maryland is coming, now that we’ve finally reached the oft-delayed filing deadline in Maryland. (Delaware’s filing deadline isn’t until July but they only have one federal race, for Congress. So they’re probably not in need of much help.)

Now, it’s possible you might be needed in another state, but it’s still an interesting process that anyone from concerned citizens to political junkies can find a part in. So why not do your part? (I think I will, hopefully in Delaware but I may be interested in other states like Ohio and Michigan, since that’s the area in and around the 419 I grew up in.) It’s much easier than creating a website from scratch.

A holiday from a boondoggle

As I wrote this over the weekend, Maryland drivers were swarming gas pumps in the state to beat the end of a gas tax holiday that expired at the stroke of midnight on Easter Sunday. But David T. Stevenson of the Caesar Rodney Institute proposes an even better holiday: the state of Delaware enacting a “tax-free carbon holiday.”

As Stevenson explains, the state of Delaware – like several other liberal-run hellholes in the Northeast – joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in 2009. Some state have rescinded their memberships since, but the remainder soak their local utilities by demanding a fee for each ton of carbon produced, with the state deciding what to do with the proceeds.

In Delaware’s case, 65% of the RGGI proceeds go to a non-profit that’s supposed to divvy out grants for energy efficiency projects, but instead has been hoarding cash to the tune of an estimated $16 to $17 million last year, bring its total up to nearly $100 million, according to Stevenson. The other 35% is designated for the state’s Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC), which administers programs assisting low-income consumers with the energy bills and weatherizing their dwellings. (In other words, wealth transfer.) Stevenson claims DNREC is sitting on its own cash surplus of $20 to $25 million.

We just saw the passage of a bill that uses a portion of the federally-fueled state surplus to give a $300 check to any Delaware resident who paid taxes in 2020. (That still doesn’t make up for what Uncle Sam raped us for, but regardless…) Perhaps the state can allow for an appropriate credit to any electric ratepayer in the state to soak up this surplus, which is basically money they paid as part of their utility bills anyway. Stevenson concludes that, “We note that New Hampshire returns RGGI revenue to electric customers, and Connecticut sends all RGGI revenue to its General Fund.” I like that first idea, and it can be the prelude to winding down our participation in this long-standing mistake.

The perpetual emergency

While AND Magazine has put up a lot of great content since I last produced odds and ends – including a look at upcoming election fraud, the issue with transgender men demanding to be placed in women’s prisons, and the situation on the ground in Afghanistan now that the Taliban is in full control – I’m choosing just one to discuss, the perpetual emergency.

The CCP virus caused a lot of disruption in our lives, but none greater than the loss of our liberty. As author Sam Faddis notes in his opening:

At the heart of the debate over COVID-19 restrictions is the distinction between rights and privileges. For most of human history some supreme authority, – a king, a sultan, a class of aristocrats – has presumed to grant to the common people certain privileges. By definition, as privileges, they can be granted, and they can be taken away.

The American concept of liberty is built on something fundamentally different. We do not enjoy privileges. We have rights. They are enshrined in the Constitution, but they are given to us by our Creator. We do not have the right to free speech, because some ‘body of humans’ granted it to us. We were born with it, and it cannot be taken away.

For two years now powerful interests in this country have attempted to change this. They have used all the power at their discretion to convert our rights into privileges that can be taken away whenever the powers that be decide some “emergency” requires it.

The real danger therein is obvious. Once you have enshrined the principle that an “emergency” justifies the revocation of God-given rights, it requires only the declaration of an “emergency” to do it again. And again.

Sam Faddis, “There Will Always Be An Emergency – The Assault On Our Liberties Has Just Begun,” AND Magazine, March 20, 2022.

In this case, Faddis continues on to talk about how rising fuel prices are the new “emergency.” Instead of the state cutting us a check, though, he details some of the ideas the International Energy Agency – a NGO with no ties to our government – would have enforced on our nation: reduced speed limits, mandatory work from home three days a week, car-free Sundays, cutting prices on mass transit, alternate-day car access to big cities…and the list goes on.

You’ll notice two things about this: one, our government is already thinking about ways to mandate this somehow, and two, they’re not discussing the most obvious solution, which would be to increase the supply of fuel to meet demand. In an effort to save face, the Biden regime restarted oil leases on federal lands, but at a greatly reduced and limited clip compared to the previous administration, where $2 a gallon gas was not uncommon.

But liberty lost is not easily regained, even if you elect the right people. Speaking of that:

An opponent to Liz Cheney

Rep. Liz Cheney may be the most hated politician in Wyoming (and perhaps much of the rest of the nation.) Polling is as sparse as people in America’s least-populated state, but a story from last summer in The Federalist suggested she has very little support in the state anymore.

Yet there may be a problem here, and I’m sure there are a few in the Cheney camp (which is essentially the national GOP establishment) who aren’t helping to create it by encouraging additional stalking horses to water down and spread out opposition in the Republican primary August 16. It’s possible Liz Cheney could win a huge primary with just 30% of the vote, so where would those 70% of Republicans and conservative independents turn?

Well, it turns out that the Constitution Party has a ballot spot in Wyoming and they have already selected their candidate, an erstwhile Republican by the name of Marissa Selvig. “I am beyond excited that it is official, and I am even more excited for the voters of Wyoming to have a real, constitutional choice in this race,” Selvig said in a party release. “It is long past time our elected officials honor their Oath to ‘uphold and defend’ the Constitution with integrity and honesty. That is exactly what I intend to do when I am elected in November.”

Now I’m not going to claim I know what’s best for Wyoming, but on a broad scale her platform is both well-written and common-sense. If it comes down to a four-way race between a Democrat, Libertarian, Cheney, and Selvig (those four parties were on the 2020 ballot) it will be interesting to see how Marissa does. Even if Cheney loses the primary, though, it’s possible the sheen has come off the GOP in The Equality State.

And yes, just to answer any naysayers about my Seaford endorsements, Marissa is a woman I would vote for.

A better offer

We all know that Elon Musk has offered to purchase Twitter and take it private, but given the “poison pill” resistance put up by Twitter’s current major stockholders perhaps there’s another way to introduce Musk to the world of social media – and it would cost Musk far less.

Andrew Torba, CEO of Gab, wrote this as part of an open offer to Musk:

We built our own servers, our own email services, our own payment processor, and so much more not because we wanted to, but because we had no choice if we were going to continue to exist.

What we are missing at the moment is an ISP. I fear that the next big leap of censorship is at the ISP level, with ISP’s blocking access to Gab.com. You solve that problem with Starlink. Together we can build infrastructure for a free speech internet.

I am willing to offer you a Board seat along with equity in the company in exchange for you selling your Twitter position and investing $2B into Gab. My offer is my best and final offer.

Andrew Torba, “Gab.com’s Offer To Elon Musk,” April 14, 2022.

For that matter, I could have the same issue with my ISP. Even though I’ve had the same server company for the sixteen-plus years I’ve had monoblogue, they are on at least the third owner I’m aware of and who knows how tolerant they will remain. Obviously I don’t have the coin for my own infrastructure, and I suppose that since this a hobby/obsession for me that’s the way it will stay.

But a few grand would be nice for my own server…heck, I’ll even do Starlink even though the state is finally contracting to bring me more reliable broadband.

The Delaware Way, explained once again

I could almost put this in the category of “duh” but since Rep. Bryan Shupe is one of those who tries not to let partisanship cloud his worldview, I’ll refrain.

But he brings up something that does belong in the category of elections matter: if you are a Republican in the Delaware General Assembly, your bill has a less than 50-50 chance of even getting a hearing in committee.

In the House Administration Committee during the 150th General Assembly, 67% of the bill submitted to this committed were heard. Of the bills submitted by the majority party, 86% of them were heard by the committee. Of the bills submitted by the minority party, only 38% of them were heard by the committee. In other words, 62% of bills submitted by the minority party were never heard in committee.

During the 151st Committee, which will end on June (30th), 2022, 66% of the bill submitted to the committee so far has been heard. Of the bills submitted by the majority party, so far 78% of them have been heard by the committee. Of the bills submitted by the minority party, so far only 42% of them have been heard by the committee. In other words, 58% of bills submitted by the minority party have not been heard in committee so far.

There seems to be a correlation between what party submits the bill and if the bill will be heard in this committee. 

Rep. Bryan Shupe, “Politics overriding House rules,” March 31, 2022.

There would be a bit of research involved, but it’s worth noting that the online records of the Delaware General Assembly date back to the 140th session (1998-2000.) The accusation here is damning enough, but the compare and contrast would be even better – back then the parties were more congenial with one another, with part of the reason being that the House was Republican-controlled through 2008 while the State Senate has been controlled by Democrats for at least 30 years, per Ballotpedia. It would be eye-opening to see how prior performance, particular in the era of GOP control of the House, compares to that of today.

Programming note

It’s that time of year again: the Shorebird of the Month will return for another year.

I’ve traditionally done it the first Thursday of the month, but on months where Thursday falls on the 1st or 2nd I wait until the next one. So gazing at my calendar, and bearing in mind how the best-laid plans go, these are the projected SotM dates: May 5, June 9, July 7, August 4, and September 15. The September date is so late because we have ten games currently scheduled in September – if they don’t play at least ten I will combine August and September numbers and only pick one set for the month-plus, but I won’t know that until the regular season ends September 11. Shorebird of the Year will follow a week later and picks and pans the week after that.

Aside from that, I’ll start collecting items that interest me now for the next edition of odds and ends.

Will Seaford vote for change?

If you live in my little corner of Sussex County, you know that Seaford is a vital part of the community. It’s the largest Sussex town on the U.S. 13 corridor, and it’s now home to a local Amazon processing facility servicing southern Delaware and the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland that’s providing dozens of new jobs in a long-shuttered factory.

On Saturday, the city will have an election that, in my opinion, will determine whether the town continues to make a comeback from its long period of doldrums or falls back into the same old, same old. I don’t live in the town, but since it’s an important part of life in this part of the county I think this election deserves some additional perspective – moreso than the boilerplate look provided by Delaware Online. (A much better overview was provided by the Delaware Independent website.)

In Saturday’s election, two seats are up for grabs: Mayor David Genshaw, who has been mayor since being appointed in 2013, is running for another two-year term while Council member Matt MacCoy is running for re-election to his second three-year term. Respectively, they are being challenged by Pat A. Jones and Stacie Spicer.

In reading the media coverage of this election, it’s clear that Seaford’s election wouldn’t attract much notice except for one issue: the fetal remains ordinance they narrowly passed late last year in response to a new Planned Parenthood office opening in Seaford a few months earlier. With the news of possible “waste-to-energy” incineration of remains from aborted babies, Seaford may have been ahead of its time on that one; regardless, enforcement of the law remains on hold due to claims the ordinance is illegal and that state law already covers the subject.

But the city under Genshaw has proven itself to be unafraid of being a bastion of sanity in a state dominated by Democrats in various shades of blue. In 2018 the city attracted notice by passing a right-to-work law after Sussex County bailed out of their own effort to become a right-to-work county. A proposal like that made sense for a city with a plethora of available industrial space thanks to Dupont winding down its operations over several decades. But getting Amazon in that complex is certainly a feather in the cap of the incumbents: while Genshaw is more low-key, I see MacCoy regularly on social media outlining his efforts to attract new business to the city, and the results. And he’s honest: Seaford isn’t a fit for every business because of its size and relative income level compared to towns on the beach side of Sussex County. Through the decline of the last few decades, though, there are opportunities for new businesses to start up and perhaps it’s a subject which can worked on in the next term regardless of who wins.

The re-election of Genshaw and MacCoy isn’t a shoo-in, though. And it’s not just because of the fetal remains law controversy, but also because a change in state law expanded the universe of Seaford voters: instead of separate registrations for city and county/state/federal elections, Seaford now allows all voters who are registered in the city to vote, which grows the possible number of voters over threefold. (There are also a small number of non-residents who own property in the city who can vote, too. That number wasn’t a great percentage of the original voter universe, but it’s tiny now.) It’s probable mayoral challenger Pat A. Jones is banking on that larger possible turnout, particularly since a significant number are minority voters. (Jones is the only black person running for office in Seaford this time around.)

Jones ran for mayor unsuccessfully a decade ago, after a lengthy stint on Seaford City Council. What bothers me most about her candidacy is something she said in the Delaware Independent interview:

Talking to constituents and hearing some of the concerns that are going on now, that’s one of the main reasons I decided to come back to the table. Not to mention that we need women on Council. Because when I served on Council, there were three women on Council and (now) there are none. And the men are making decisions that concern women, and not every woman is happy with some of the decisions that are made because we don’t even have a voice at the table.

Andrew Sharp, “Meet the candidates in Seaford’s upcoming election”, Delaware Independent, March 21, 2022.

I can’t speak to who has run for office in Seaford, but it seems to me that women have had plenty of opportunities to make their bids. We have a representative in Congress who has that same sort of attitude, deserving election simply because she’s a black woman. Unfortunately, Jones was on Seaford City Council during a period when the city was indeed declining. And while she has a legitimate point about the lack of representation among residents on the east side of Seaford, that issue can be rectified by creating a hybrid system of perhaps three districts and two at-large seats, in order to insure property owners who may have holdings in different districts get a vote. It’s an issue she can work toward as an activist.

As for the motivations of Stacie Spicer, a quote I found in the Delaware Public Media coverage of the fetal remains debate explained a lot:

Stacy (sic) Spicer came to the city council meeting with her mother and daughter, all residents of Seaford.

Spicer says the timing of this ordinance can’t be a coincidence, with Planned Parenthood of Delaware opening a new clinic in the city recently, offering abortions alongside many other reproductive health services.

“If you know anything about Seaford we definitely need a Planned Parenthood,” says Spicer, “Just our demographic, we have a lot of lower socioeconomic individuals here and I think it’s a wonderful thing.”

Spicer says an ordinance like this is going to hinder those low income folks from being able to access abortion services.

Roman Battaglia, “Seaford passes fetal remains measure, now faces legal challenge,” Delaware Public Media, December 14, 2021.

She also added in the Delaware Independent:

First, the State of Delaware already has code in place that indicates how remains are handled. For those who are concerned about law and order understand that city law cannot supersede state law. Furthermore, this ordinance also places a disproportionate financial as well as emotional burden on families.

Sharp, Ibid.

First of all, Seaford doesn’t need a Planned Parenthood. It’s interesting that their previous office was in Rehoboth, where more of the Sussex population resides. However, this side of the county is where more of the minority residents reside. Take from that what you will.

City law cannot supersede state law but it can supplement it. In many cases, state law is a floor that a municipality can choose to exceed if it desires: think of a 35 mph zone set by the state. The city can choose to make it 25 mph if they desire, but they can’t make it a 45 mph zone. Seaford was adding restrictions that Attorney General Kathy Jennings didn’t like because she’s a far-left Democrat, not because they violate state law.

Basically we have found out why the two women ran for office. (It’s also apparent from the headline of the Delaware Online story that led with “2 women will challenge the mayor and councilman.”)

In one capacity or another, I have been represented or led by elected women for most of my adult life. In the last state election I voted for women in the top two positions of the ballot, plus for U.S. Senate – give me the right woman for the office and I’ll vote for her. (One example: Julianne Murray for Delaware Attorney General.)

But when the campaign comes down to “vote for me because of my gender” and the motivation for the candidates to run involves overturning a common-sense law improperly being challenged by the state, I say no.

On Saturday, Seaford is encouraged to vote to keep David Genshaw as Seaford mayor and Matt MacCoy on Seaford City Council.

Mt. Hermon Plow Days 2022 in pictures and text

Not bad for a repeat.

You may recall that the 2021 version was the icebreaker to what became a long series of return events after the Wuhan flu unnecessarily wiped out a year of our lives. This year marks the return to normalcy for the event, with one exception: the wind was once again not a factor. While we didn’t have the shirtsleeve weather that we were blessed with last year (a week later than normal because of when Easter fell) the weather was still superb for early spring on Delmarva, with sunny skies complementing temperatures in the low 50s.

Because a lot about the event is constant year-to-year, I was going to have a goal of sticking close to the number of photos from last year, but like a late April Fool’s joke I blew through that number. However, I did cull a few from my initial pass at it and kept it under 20. As always the captions help add to the thousand words.

We’re going to start this tale by telling you its location. Since Plow Days began it’s always been at this little produce farm out Mount Hermon Road. It’s about as unpretentious a location as you’ll find: anywhere that flips its calendar from 15 to 16 with a touch of marker or paint doesn’t sweat the small stuff when it comes to putting on airs. It’s perfect for Plow Days.

I heard a little of the story behind the Adkins farm: turns out the creator of Plow Days grew up as a neighbor of this farm’s patriarch, Milbourne Adkins – who also grew up to be a pastor of a nearby church. So when Oren Perdue was looking for a venue, they struck a deal: get some of the Adkins ground ready for the season in return for an opportunity for sharing the Perdue ministry and providing a day of real horsepower and wholesome family-friendly entertainment.

It’s a larger than life rendition of Pastor Oren Perdue, the founder of the Salisbury Baptist Temple. This photo graces the space next to the sign-up table for their Summer Fun camp, which for over 30 years has been held in and around SBT. Kim’s daughter is an “alumnus” of the camp she attended regularly for several years growing up.

Pastor Perdue continued, noting his parents bought the farm he grew up on for $41 an acre – this was back in the Depression era, of course. Many years later, with his mother in ill health, it sold for many times that. He claimed that a bumper crop of cucumbers in its first year paid off the land, but wistfully noted it’s a lot tougher on farmers today. (If I may add my take on his story – which I don’t doubt for a second – the farms of today are in the hundreds or even thousands of acres and grow a multitude of crops. I live in the midst of one.)

Here’s the real Oren Perdue, still going strong in his later years. While he retired as pastor of Salisbury Baptist Temple a few years back and more recently turned over the reins of the Summer Fun camp to his longtime trusted assistant, he still helps out with both as he can. And he puts on this event each spring.

This event, then, is a reminder of a time that the much younger Perdue wasn’t all that far removed from. One thing I missed in my photo essay from last year was the corn shelling, but not this time. I have another omission made right this year, but I’m saving it for later.

If you didn’t know what this horse was up to by the angle of my photo, I’ll show you the result. As Pastor Perdue said, sometimes the horse is a bit reluctant to go up there but once he’s there he does fine. The way I see it, that’s just an uphill treadmill for modern-day walkers, right? Just happens to be horse-powered.
Somebody’s going to eat this all-natural corn when it’s ground into cornmeal. If nothing else, the local birds and wildlife will have a field day. Something tells me, though, that they were a little more careful gathering the corn in the old days.

As I wrote up above, part of the deal was getting the back 40 for the Adkins farm plowed. This team did a nice job in an environment that’s not as rural as it once was.

Try as I might to capture an idyllic rural scene, that storage facility just down the road wasn’t going to cooperate, or go anywhere.

While Pastor Perdue’s ministry and musings are a valuable part of the proceedings, Plow Days also gives the young ones an introduction to rural history and farm animals they may not normally see up close.

Honestly I’m not sure if this team was done for the day or awaiting its shift, but these pairs were a popular item. The ten teams for the event came from Maryland, Delaware, and North Carolina.
Wagon rides were also a hit with kids and adults alike, creating some of the longest lines around at the peak of the day. I believe this event was added back after being absent last year.
The kids loved the kids. Yes, I had to go there – after all, you need something to keep our young ones off the phones (or at least use them simply for taking pictures.)
I wonder how the conversations went after, “Dad, what’s that little building there for?” I suspect the answers were met with either high-pitched giggles or a sigh of “eeeeeewwwwww!” (That may have also occurred if one of the horses left some road apples about.) Thank goodness there were more modern facilities available, although it’s fair to note the concept here hasn’t really changed. Anyway, enough with the bathroom humor.

The event kept its usual attractions of good food and local craftspeople hawking their wares on a well-traveled midway.

I think there were more food vendors than last year, so hungry people had a good choice of fare.
This is one end of the midway. The rock climbing wall made a return trip, keeping the kids captivated. And for whatever reason, this year’s predominant color of Plow Days swag was red.
At the other end of the midway was our friend Brent Zockoll and his pottery. He’s began to create a little specialty of pottery featuring horsehair; needless to say, it’s a big hit among this crowd.
Brent Zockoll (in the green cap, with the dirty hands) was a main attraction as he threw clay today. Nothing like combining business and pleasure on a lovely spring day.

It’s worth giving you a little insight on Brent since he’s become something of a success story. Nine years ago Brent left his sales job to pursue his passion of creating pottery, and after a few fits and starts (including a fire that heavily damaged his garage/studio) he’s made a go of the business – an endeavor he also uses to spread the Gospel.

As for my other omission made right: the other thing I missed getting a picture of last year was the entertainment. Once again it was the Mt. Olivet String Band, but this time I can show you what they look like.

The Mt. Olivet String Band in all its glory, putting a bluegrass spin on Americana favorites. You probably know the guy on the right by his soothing voice if not his face: it’s Charles Paparella, better known as the “Travels with Charlie” guy on the local news.

Although it seemingly contradicts the Book of Ecclesiastes, I have to tell you there were a few new things under the sun this year. (Perhaps they were only new to me.)

One thing was the sharp antique pickup truck below, which complemented the little maroon car I pictured last year. (I almost included a picture of its rumble seat, but it ended up on the cutting room floor.) But there’s a story behind that truck, too.

It’s a nice old Ford truck from D. Lombardo and Sons that presumably (from its Maryland plate) dates back to 1925. That’s Mrs. Lombardo standing at right, supporting her husband’s campaign.

It occurred to me as we were on our way (we had to run another errand before we went to Plow Days) that I would likely find hot and cold running politicians there, since it’s an election year in Wicomico County. The Lombardo in question is Darren Lombardo, and he’s running for the county school board. In talking to him I realized he is worth checking out because he has a philosophy regarding school choice I tend to agree with. I’ll stop short of a formal endorsement because I don’t know about his opponents, but as I said, worth checking out if you’re one of my Wicomico readers.

Normally if we go anywhere like this, people know my wife because she works in the medical field so they’re often her patients or former coworkers. But in any event featuring political types, the tables are turned because people notice me and this was the case here. (It was either that or my Detroit Lions hoodie.) I ran into Joe Holloway, David Snyder, Linda Luffman, Addie Eckardt, Jamie Dykes, and Larry Dodd there, and there were others, too – I heard John Cannon and John Psota being introduced and Dodd was walking with Dutch Schwemlein, a newcomer seeking an at-large County Council seat that I was introduced to. Linda was looking to meet up with another newcomer, A.J. Angello – who is the primary opponent for Joe Holloway.

(The scorecard: Holloway, Dodd, and Cannon are current Wicomico County Council members looking to keep their jobs, Snyder is seeking the open County Council District 2 seat, Luffman is looking to be re-elected to the county’s Republican Central Committee, Eckardt is running to retain her State Senate seat, Dykes is the incumbent State’s Attorney, and Psota is the incumbent appointed County Executive who was granted the job after Bob Culver died in office in the summer of 2020, after the 2020 filing deadline.) I got a little bit of a lowdown on what’s up with the county election, particularly the slates, from Linda, while Snyder informed me of a strange technicality that made him withdraw his candidacy for the seat when it opened up a couple years ago due to Marc Kilmer’s resignation. (I may expound on that in the future.)

Quick aside: in jogging my memory of who I ran into by looking at the candidate list for Wicomico County I saw there were 14 candidates for the Republican Central Committee this year, so far. Damn, that’s a popular unpaid and pretty much thankless job.

But back to Plow Days: the true test of these people will be how many come back next year – not to be introduced to the crowd like the politicians are, but to support it. I think Plow Days is the type of event that’s worth backing as it deftly combines history, ministry, and an awareness of what makes a rural area so unique.

It’s an attitude I can sum up with one final photo.

The banner wasn’t for sale, it was placed as a message and invitation. We need more of that in 2022 America.

Like Oren Perdue noted on this fine afternoon, farming doesn’t seem to be an avocation that’s drawing young people. I came from a place where the blue FFA jackets were still a common sight 40 years ago, but here and now people aren’t as interested in keeping that vital lifestyle going. And having just lost my dad recently, it makes me realize I don’t know how much longer the stalwarts of Plow Days – who are close to his age – have on this earth, so we need to keep this slice of history and an occupation that ranks among those preserving the lifeblood of our nation alive as long as possible.

Things aren’t always what they seem

I haven’t been paying nearly as much attention to Maryland politics the last few years but every so often I find something rather intriguing. In this case, it’s not too many miles away in Dorchester County.

I saw that over the weekend their county Republicans had their Lincoln Day Dinner. Initially I learned this thanks to a social media post by a locally noted political sign critic but then it went further when I noticed a promoted post on that same social media outlet that led to this blog post.

Apparently we are still far enough away from the primary that Republicans are coming to the Eastern Shore to solicit votes, and in this case the Dorchester LDD featured the two leading contenders for their gubernatorial nomination: Delegate Daniel Cox and onetime Delegate and Hogan administration official Kelly Schulz. In this particular retelling of events it was obvious that the writer was heavily favoring the Cox campaign, which is fine. What’s most interesting, though, is that the contact address for the Shore Times blog where the article came from is the exact same one used by Marc Schifanelli for his school board campaign in Queen Anne’s County. Of course, students of Maryland politics know that Marc’s wife Gordana is Cox’s running mate. So we’re not exactly being stealth here, and I will give credit for pointing that out in due time.

On the other side of the equation – and not being too stealth themselves – is The Duckpin, a site which seems to spend its time tearing down Cox, who they swear up and down isn’t much of a threat on par with the other two no-names in the race. Yet somehow Dan lives rent-free in their heads as they keep writing about him instead of promoting their endorsed choice in Schulz. (Apparently Brian Griffiths wanted to write about more than politics, so Red Maryland was put to bed and The Duckpin was born. He finally figured out what I knew over 16 years ago.)

Anyway, I was reading a piece on the race that made the claim about the link and indeed it’s true. So give the man his credit. But what’s the big deal?

Here’s the problem with being a Republican and running for governor in Maryland: you have to survive a GOP primary.

In 2010, Larry Hogan deferred to Bob Ehrlich, who then proceeded to lose even worse to Martin O’Malley than he did the first time. You may recall there was this phenomenon going around the country back then called the TEA Party…well, they liked this heretofore unknown businessman named Brian Murphy in the gubernatorial primary and enough of them tuned out the overly moderate Ehrlich once Murphy was dispatched back to anonymity to doom Bob to defeat in the general.

In 2014, there was an open seat and the Democrats decided to promote their bland, personality-free LG Anthony Brown to governor. Larry Hogan had spent the four years building up a grassroots group called Change Maryland and he parlayed that into securing the nomination then winning in November – thanks to a lot of the people who abandoned Ehrlich because he wasn’t conservative enough for them. This despite the fact Hogan’s website was about content-free and you couldn’t nail down what he was actually for, just what he was against based on Change Maryland.

Fooled you once… the next time in 2o18 Hogan only won because the Democrats went extreme left with their choice for governor; otherwise, the election was a disaster for Republicans on the order of 2006. (Had he run in 2018 instead of this cycle, we would be commenting on the prospects of Governor Franchot’s re-election. Or perhaps Governor Delaney’s.)

So here’s the problem with Kelly Schulz. In looking her up in the archives of the monoblogue Accountability Project, I had forgotten that she was relatively conservative by my standards – not enough to be a consistent Legislative All-Star (she was just one time in eight years I covered her) but she had an 85 average and that’s very good for a Maryland politician. (With an average that high, I would be hailing her as a savior in Delaware.)

But what I didn’t see when she went into the Executive Branch was a great deal of conservative innovation. It’s good that her “proudest accomplishment (at DLLR) was guiding Maryland’s youth apprenticeship program,” but I would have rather seen efforts to wrest the state from the grip of its unions by edging it toward right-to-work status or taking a hacksaw to regulations like Donald Trump did at a federal level. And the question I have: is this the record of a conservative?

Member, Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council, 2019; Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission, 2019; Small Business Resources and Data Collection Work Group, 2019; Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, 2019-20; P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland, 2019-21. Board of Directors, Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation, 2019-22. Member, Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Board, 2019-22; Governor’s Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture, 2019-22; Animal Waste Technology Fund Advisory Committee, 2019-22; Maryland Aviation Commission, 2019-22. Board of Directors, Bainbridge Development Corporation, 2019-22. Member, Coast Smart Council, 2019-22; Correctional Education Council, 2019-22; Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays, 2019-22; Maryland Cybersecurity Council, 2019-22; Interagency Disabilities Board, 2019-22; Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority, 2019-22; Maryland Economic Development Commission, 2019-22; Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund Authority, 2019-22; Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities, 2019-22; Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee, 2019-22; Maryland Green Purchasing Committee, 2019-22; Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, 2019-22; State Highway Access Valuation Board, 2019-22; Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs, 2019-22; Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority, 2019-22; Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board, 2019-22; Maryland Manufacturing Advisory Board, 2019-22; Council on Open Data, 2019-22; Maryland Opportunity Zone Leadership Task Force, 2019-22; Maryland Port Commission, 2019-22. Board of Directors, Maryland Public-Private Partnership Marketing Corporation, 2019- (chair, 2019). Executive Board, Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership of Maryland, 2019-22. Member, Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting, 2019-22; Renewable Fuels Incentive Board, 2019-22; Rural Maryland Council, 2019-22; Interdepartmental Advisory Committee on Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs, 2019-22; Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority, 2019-22; Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, 2019-22. Board of Directors, Maryland Technology Development Corporation, 2019-22. Board of Regents, University System of Maryland, 2019-22. Member, Governor’s Workforce Development Board, 2019-22; Youth Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, 2019-22; Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council, 2019-22.

Member, COVID-19 Small Business Task Force, Baltimore City, 2020; Task Force on the Economic Future of Western Maryland, 2020-22; Maryland Food System Resiliency Council, 2021-22; Historic St. Mary’s City Fort to 400 Commission, 2021-22; Maryland Semiquincentennial Commission, 2021-22; Work Group to Study the Transformation of Manufacturing in Maryland’s Emerging Digital Economy, 2021-22.

Maryland Manual online, accessed March 22, 2022.

Granted, I’m sure most of these are ex officio positions she gathered as the Secretary, but no one said she had to accept a position on the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities or the Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council. Her acceptance to me equates with support.

That’s not to say I’m the biggest fan of Daniel Cox, who has styled himself as something of a Trump fanboy. But if you drive around on the back roads of Dorchester County that I frequent on a regular basis on the way to my in-laws’ house, you see a lot of Trump paraphrenalia and a lot of Cox for Governor signs. (Not many people go through Eldorado or Rhodesdale, but I do.) It’s a slice of the electorate that probably won’t turn out for someone endorsed by Larry Hogan because they can’t stand what he’s become. While many were pushed over the edge by the bad blood between Larry Hogan and Donald Trump, they were placed at the precipice like I was after our side was quickly sold out by Hogan to the environmentalists who saddled farmers with onerous phosphorus regulations and later saw Larry kill a golden opportunity for economic growth with an ill-advised fracking ban. So Hogan’s support is electoral poison in those quarters.

Certainly there will be those who say that their staying home and not backing Kelly Schulz will ensure Democratic victory in November. But then again, the same prediction of GOP doom holds true if Cox wins so why not stand up for what you believe?

And people wonder why some of us are so fed up with the system?

Odds and ends number 110

Yes, the mailboxes need pruning again. As I noted in my previous post, sometimes I will promote posts that deserve a full retelling, but that’s not to say these dribs and drabs of bloggy goodness aren’t important – just not quite deserving of a full post.

Time for a victory garden, and more

A few weeks back I discussed the return of a local blogger who can now be found on Substack. Another resource that can be found there is AND Magazine, which was its own website but has moved on to a two-tier subscription-based approach. (I get the free stuff, and that’s plenty. But if you’re really into it, they have “exclusive content” for paying subscribers, too.)

I like the resource since it has more of a foreign policy interest than most conservative news sources – for example, who else talks about the alliance between Iran and China? – so my interest was piqued more than usual with two recent posts.

The first dealt with a shortage we haven’t heard much discussion about: what happens if we don’t have fertilizer?

Global fertilizer prices have tripled under Biden. That doesn’t just mean that food costs will rise. It means in many places farmers will not be able to afford to buy fertilizer. They will grow crops without fertilizing them. The yield from those crops will be a fraction of what they would be if they were fertilized.

Sam Faddis, “Time For A Victory Garden – Joe Broke The Economy Too,” AND Magazine, March 9, 2022.

Maybe it’s just something I’ve noticed this year, but it seems to me that more farmers here in Delaware are using our abundant natural resource of chicken manure. I have a saying I bust out in the late winter and early spring, “Smells like Delaware.” It’s the odor of chicken poop, but the farmers obviously love it.

But that brings up a point that Maryland farmers are regulated in how much they can use because they have to closely monitor phosphorous levels in the soil thanks to Larry Hogan starting out well but caving to the environmentalist wackos at the start of his first term. (However, in re-reading these 2015 posts, maybe Maryland farmers got a reprieve this year, just at the right time. But I doubt it since we’re talking seven years ago and the prospects for relief seldom last that long.) I don’t see those familiar mounds on Maryland farms and I wonder how they will be affected.

Anyway, perhaps the chicken industry is saving us again. But the other article notes that we may not be salvagable with regard to rare earths. As Faddis noted last week:

If you don’t have rare earth minerals, you don’t have a “green” economy. Your new Tesla does not go very far without a battery in it, and that battery can’t be made without rare earth minerals.

The reserves of rare earth minerals are scattered all over the world. Forty percent of those reserves are in China. China’s control over rare earth minerals is much greater than that figure would suggest, however. Over 70% of the actual rare earth mineral production is in China. China’s control over the actual processing of rare earth minerals is even greater than that. Fully 90% of all rare earth minerals are actually processed in China.

Sam Faddis, “If You Liked Being Dependent On Middle East Oil You Will Love Being Owned By China,” AND Magazine, March 11, 2022.

Knowing our luck, Delaware is sitting on top of a mountain of rare earth materials but the people in charge will say, “oh, you can’t dig them up.” That’s how it seems to work for oil. But don’t you think we should spend some of this government largesse seeing what we do have?

Updating my party

Since I haven’t seen fit to change my voter registration – even though I already have one interesting contested Republican race in Delaware – news from the Constitution Party still interests me.

One piece is from the state of Wyoming, where the Republicans may not be the only ones with primary fun. There are rumblings that two candidates may seek the CP ballot slot for Congress, and even though one is a former Republican who left that race and perhaps sees this as an easier way to be on the ballot, that’s how the party grows.

The other details their national convention, which will be held in, of all places, Erie, Pennsylvania. Nothing against Erie, a town which I have passed by a couple times on I-90 and which houses the AA affiliate of my Detroit Tigers, but I guess you can tell the new party chair is from Pennsylvania. And it’s at a local “freedom loving” church, which I’m sure will set off the local “separation of church and state” mafia. Which leads to my next question: when is the Delaware CP convention? Job one for them is to get some of these other conservative parties to join us so we get ballot access, too.

Speaking of churches, here is something from iVoterGuide which may be of interest. In 2025, with a Republican president and Congress, it will be high time to repeal the Johnson Amendment.

Energy boondoggles, followed up

You know how I feel about the Green Raw Deal, so when I get news from the Caesar Rodney Institute that highlights some of the foibles of our government’s headlong rush to environmental insanity I’m going to share it.

One part noted, “The Biden Administration has created a new federal agency to spend infrastructure funds for full battery electric vehicle charging stations. The Joint Office of Energy & Transportation will spend $2.5 billion in federal funds to place EV chargers in poor neighborhoods.”

It made me wonder where my closest charger is, and according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center I would have to travel to Galestown, Maryland. If you have ever been to Galestown you know it’s a speck on the map, but it has a town hall and someone had the brilliant idea to put a charger there. Wonder if the mayor (or the town) got an electric car so someone uses the thing?

The other talks about PJM, which is a major electric grid operator. They seem to have a problem: “The nation’s largest electric grid operator, PJM Interconnection, is so clogged with requests from energy developers that want to connect to its regional transmission network in the eastern United States that it is planning a two-year pause on reviewing more than 1,200 energy projects, most of them solar power.”

Solar power plays havoc with an electricity grid because it’s simply not reliable. Imagine a humid summer day in Delaware: most of your solar panels are getting sunshine and adding to the grid, but then some of those pop-up thunderstorms pop up and suddenly there’s no sun in that area. What does a grid operator do to meet the demand but go to the backup natural gas system that has to be kept around for redundancy’s sake? Just skip the middleman.

And then you have this absurdity from our governor, as if new cars weren’t already expensive enough. “The (new) regulations mandate that a certain percentage of the vehicles delivered for sale in a state are (zero-emission) vehicles. Manufacturers receive credits for each delivered vehicle based on the type of vehicle, range and other factors. Each year, manufacturers must meet a ZEV credit amount that is based on average annual sales. In states already in the program, the automobile industry has successfully met the required percentage.

This sounds a lot like the RGGI scam that Delaware utility ratepayers are already saddled with. If they don’t sell enough of these cars, the manufacturers have to pay the state of Delaware. Problem is, we don’t want them because I have no desire to pay a couple grand for upgrading my home electrical system or shuffle off to Galestown to charge my car for x number of minutes to go anywhere.

A new link and leader

I wasn’t really intending to be so CRI-heavy on this one, but the name I saw rang a bell.

If you remember on Friday I discussed the Delaware school board races. One of those who ran upstate in the crazy election of 2021 was a lady by the name of Dr. Tanya Hettler, who lost her bid for a seat in the Brandywine school district way up in the northeast corner of the state, almost completely geographically opposite from where I live.

So she didn’t run this year, but she has a new gig:

I have spent the last three years writing for my blog “Deep Thoughts with Dr. Tanya,” focusing on counseling, family, and parenting issues. Over the last year, I have increased my focus on education issues due to running for the local school board. Through this experience, my eyes have been further opened to the many needs in education in Delaware, and I have been writing to inform our citizens of these problems and their potential solutions.

I am very excited to join the team at the CRI…as the director of the Center for Education Excellence and continue my work.

Dr. Tanya Hettler, March 1, 2022.

I just permalinked to her blog the other day since it seems like she has her head screwed on straight. (Interestingly enough, she’s also involved in the Convention of States movement I recently began to follow.) But as CRI describes her job, “As director, Dr. Hettler will lead policy research efforts for an important and much-needed overhaul of Delaware’s K-12 public education system that has consistently failed students over the past 15 years.”

Lady, let me give you a clue on what’s needed: it’s called “money follows the child.” They don’t need an overhaul of the system as much as they just need to start back over and let parents decide what to do with that education money. It may be enough to convince a faithful working mom to homeschool or give a boost to Christian schools that take Proverbs 22:6 seriously.

Once again, the e-mail box is cleaned out and now I can get on to other fun stuff.

It’s not “Let’s Go Brandon” anymore?

Leave it to the Astroturf group to demand top-down, executive level solutions.

I haven’t commented on our friends at Indivisible for awhile because, quite frankly, everything they touched in this Congressional session turned to crap thanks to the bipartisan overtures of Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. We didn’t have to endure Bilk Back Better or the election theft act because Indivisible couldn’t convince a majority of Senators to do away with their filibuster rules – although Lord knows they tried (and probably spent seven figures or so of dark money in the process.)

But, it is said, where there is a will there is a way and the group that prides itself on grassroots action is demanding top down with a new initiative called, “Let’s Go Joe!” As they describe it, the new idea is “to cheer on President Biden and encourage him to take action on the issues that will most impact everyday Americans.” Unfortunately, by that I don’t think they mean putting a permanent curb on the “Green New Deal” or getting a handle on government spending, even though those would help.

I suppose I will allow them to describe this further:

We’re going to use all the tools in Indivisible’s playbook to encourage Biden to take action. That means public events. It means behind-the-scenes lobbying. It means tweets at the White House. It means digital ads. It even means (you guessed it) calls to members of Congress. We’ll be asking President Biden to do something very simple — use the power that the American people invested in him to take action on some of the top issues of our day: things like student debt, lowering prescription drug prices, climate change and more. 

“New Program: Let’s Go Joe!” – Indivisible e-mail, February 16, 2022.

(As you can tell, I held on to this awhile. This post was promoted from an upcoming odds and ends post.)

As has been the case all along, one asset of the Indivisible movement that was often missing from the TEA Party (because the TEA Party was truly grassroots at its heart) was an explanation of the marching orders, and this is no exception. Based on the scripts they’re pushing on their shiny new Let’s Go Joe website, their first two pet issues are declaring a climate emergency and wiping out student debt.

Needless to say, Brandon doesn’t need a whole lot of help to do this if he was so inclined. But while Indivisible is shouting in one ear, the Democratic Party brass is whispering in the other and showing him polls that the party is going to get shellacked in November unless gas prices come down and inflation is reined in. And no, the solution is not going hat in hand to the Saudis, the Venezuelans, or the Russians because what we’re experiencing now is a preview of life under the Green Raw Deal.

Moreover, while he may gain a few votes among the Millennial crowd for cancelling student debt, the Democrats already have made sufficient inroads among that group so it would be a case of diminishing returns compared to the number of Gen X, Generation Jones, and Boomer voters who would be pissed off that they had to work their way through college or paid the full freight while little Austin, the barely-employed social science major who has plenty of money to maintain his man bun and nose ring because he’s still hanging in his parents’ basement, got his $80,000 in debt paid off with the stroke of someone else’s pen. (Myself included: it took me fifteen years and a couple refinances but I paid my student debt.)

Right now the group that based itself on the TEA Party is seeing how we on the conservative side felt after we had a weak Republican candidate not necessarily of our choosing lose in a Presidential election that a Reaganesque candidate would have won easily. In essence, five years after their Astroturf founding, Indivisible is working in the much the same situation the TEA Party was in 2014, five years after its formation: a majority (albeit much more slim) in the House and a working minority in the Senate. While Indivisible ostensibly backs Joe Biden, you know that in their heart of hearts they really wish they could have cheated Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders into the job. (If it weren’t for a far more compliant press, Indivisible wouldn’t even have the one thing the TEA Party couldn’t get until a few years later, the Oval Office.)

But it’s not a bad idea to put a bug in the ear of our elected representatives that we really don’t want what Indivisible’s Astroturf is pushing. Here in Delaware it may not do a lot of good directly, but they should know this state isn’t as squarely behind their adopted occupant of the Oval Office as one may believe.

Remembering the last pump price crisis

With gas prices seemingly going up on the regular, I decided it would be an interesting exercise to revisit the last time we saw this sort of surge at the corner station. When I see this topic discussed on the happy-talk show Delmarva Life this afternoon, we know it’s on people’s minds.

The time was 2008, which was an election year but under different circumstances. Our so-called “war for oil” over in Iraq was on somewhat shaky ground, but the bigger culprit in the uncertainty was the Great Recession we were enduring at the time, culminating in the financial panic that caused GOP candidate John McCain to temporarily go off the campaign trail and staining further the legacy of President George W. Bush.

It was in April that I first noticed the issue, as I added gas prices to a occasional series of posts I did at the time called the market basket. At that time, the pump price in Salisbury was $3.419, which seems reasonable compared to today, but remember most people were still making less than $15 an hour back then. (Minimum wage increased to $6.55 an hour that summer.) Then the next month I commented on a piece by energy writer Hans Bader and later on I noted in passing that Newt Gingrich had become involved, back when he was more relevant as a political force and not a commentator. (Bonus reading from fourteen years ago: my three part series on a better stimulus. See how it stands up in this era.)

Back then I posted a lot more, so here’s something resembling a two-part series on pump prices and how the Left saw them. Some things never change. And then I talked about Chuck Norris saying his piece – amazing the video is still there – and how it was affecting our Congressional race. Also, back then I commented a lot more on commentary like this.

And then we got Nozzlerage. You have to take my word for it now that the video is gone, but that was hilarious. Too bad the idea behind it was the unsound one of flex-fuel cars, which would only lead to creating more ethanol. And years later I found out the push to keep Congress in Washington over the summer to address the oil issue came from a person who would be an early TEA Party leader a year later. I even had more Newt, despite the fact prices were finally coming down, and refutations of comments I received on the site.

As it turned out, I was right in that drilling for our own oil and using fracking technology to extract more natural gas drove prices down to more acceptable levels. We got to a point just a couple short years ago where we became a net energy exporter, and we made Newt’s dream of $2.50 a gallon gas come true – in fact, in some places we beat his expectations by over a dollar.

So if I was right last time around, don’t you think we need to go back to the tried and true? We know there’s plenty of good technology in the energy field, so let’s drop the lease moratorium and let energy companies explore in new places, too. That would be a start. And let’s stop siccing Fedzilla on these companies – that’s a phrase I was reminded of on this trip down memory lane.

But I’ll conclude with a much newer phrase: let’s go Brandon.

Take two: Patriots for Delaware again meet at Range Time

This time, the circumstances were different but the crowd was about the same. Because it was held indoors in a place that was probably among the most dangerous in Delaware just hours before – the firing area of a shooting range – I opted not to make this a multimedia event, aside from the below photo, taken at a location outside the line of fire. (I will say the building is quite nice as it also features a couple classrooms that were just too small for the event and several axe-throwing lanes as well as the target practice area for shooting.)

The Patriots for Delaware still have some interesting swag, and that didn’t even account for the signs.

The concerns were a little more pointed this time than they were last time I went in April of 2021 as well. We’ve now been through a year of the Biden regime and national concerns seemed to outweigh state concerns at this meeting, for obvious reasons.

So after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and getting an invocation, the meeting began with P4D speakers Bill Hopkins and James Davison getting some words in. While reminding us that government doesn’t always have our best interests in mind, Hopkins exhorted us to do more than “just be a good American” because, in his estimation, “we’re really in deep.” He set us up for Davison, who spoke about the need for good candidates for the upcoming Delaware school board elections as well as following up on the work of P4D’s election integrity team, which was releasing a statement announcing their formal complaint contending hundreds of deceased voters are voting in Delaware.

Another interesting thing Davison brought up was the ongoing migration from Facebook to less biased forums like Gettr and Truth Social. Patriots for Delaware is apparently having issues with Facebook that parody sites like “the even more patriotic Patriots for Delaware” aren’t having.

Yet the subject on everyone’s mind was the upcoming Freedom Convoy. Our local one is being plugged by P4D, which has set up three rendevous sites around the state – the closest for folks like us is in Bridgeville – along with dropoff points for supplies to keep the truckers driving. While they need volunteers to organize and be points of contact, we found out Range Time agreed to be a dropoff point for this effort.

While the idea is sound, I’m hoping Patriots for Delaware doesn’t get too sidetracked on a concept which is already sort of being addressed by events. We don’t have it as bad as Canada does in this respect, and although a trucker’s convoy is a tactic that will get attention it’s my hope that the attention doesn’t go negative, particularly since our media won’t give it a fair shake whatsoever. Perception is reality, and although we have had plenty of issues with COVID enforcement I feel we need to keep our powder dry.

Being that we were at a shooting facility, we also spent some time listening to Mike Jones of the USCCA, and Larry Mayo of the Institute on the Constitution also spoke briefly on the need to learn “the law that governs the government.” But I was most surprised and excited to hear from my two-time monoblogue Accountability Project Legislator of the Year and the holder of the all-time best term score in Delaware history, Representative Rich Collins of the 41st District. (Range Time is in his district, lucky folks.)

Rich wistfully noted that, right now, “I have no more power than you do,” and cited four changes in his lifetime that had eroded things to our current state.

The first was the eliminination of the old Senate system where each county had five Senators. As I have said before, that was an offshoot of the incorrectly decided Reynolds v. Sims decision since Delaware had previously addressed the issue of equal representation with a House whose members were allocated by population.

Secondly, Collins bemoaned the rise of what he called the cabinet form of state government – simply put, unelected bureaucrats are making most of the state’s decisions by writing regulations. It’s why the government is now the state’s largest employer.

Third was an overreliance on “emergency” regulations, such as those addressing the CCP virus. “Covid will fade,” said Collins, “but what will be the next crisis?”

Lastly, the issue of one-party rule. Forty years ago, as I’ve also explained, this state was a singular shade of purple that comprised a true “swing state” even with just three electoral votes. Fast forward to the present day and, aside from pockets of Sussex and Kent counties, we are stuck with (generally very statist) Democrats.

Now that we are at this stage, continued Collins, the fact is that “money talks.” Not only should we financially back candidates we believe in, he advocated that Patriots for Delaware secure an attorney on retainer and establish a legal defense fund as part of their charge. One other thing he mentioned was that there’s an advocacy group called Delaware United that ranked him last in their legislative ratings. (While their methodology is different, their scorecard is basically the inverse of the monoblogue Accountability Project. In their case, to properly interpret their results it’s a lot like golf: the lower score, the better.)

That part was great. But I also attentively listened to the words of a current Delaware National Guard member named Butch Harmon, who spoke last. Speaking about the onerous CCP virus regulations, he said he was about to lose two good technicians because they chose not to get the jab. “We need to vote these folks out of office,” said Harmon. And rather than worry about the border of Ukraine, he continued, perhaps we should consider our southern border. (Worth mentioning: this meeting occurred before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which may or may not have changed some opinions.)

As for their other subjects, the various school board elections will likely be the subject of a post next week. Now all we need is for Patriots for Delaware to figure out a venue for meeting in the Laurel/Seaford area so that some of these folks can see how this other half lives.

Is Delaware going to pot?

Recently I received a missive from the Delaware House Republican Caucus that went like this. Normally I try to keep blockquotes to a minimum but my editor’s eye saw all of this was vital information.

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Delaware has been quietly released from a House committee and is now eligible to be placed on the House Agenda for a vote.

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee released House Bill 305 (the Delaware Marijuana Control Act) by “walking the bill” — a process where a majority of the committee members sign a document to release a bill for further consideration. This method does not require a committee hearing or public notice.

House Bill 305 had earlier received a hearing in the House Health and Human Development Committee.

The action taken by the four Democrats on the six-member House Appropriations Committee – State Reps. Bill Carson, David Bentz, Stephanie Bolden and Kimberly Williams – potentially positions the legislation for immediate action in the House Chamber when lawmakers return to work next month. 

House Bill 305 contains several highly controversial elements, including one designating a significant number of licenses established under the legislation as “social equity licenses.” These licenses include those that would be needed to operate a marijuana retail store, testing facility, cultivation facility or product manufacturing facility.

Qualifications to obtain a social equity license include being “convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent, for any marijuana-related offense except for delivery to a minor.”

Social equity license applicants could also qualify if they resided for at least five of the preceding ten years in a “disproportionately impacted area.” The legislation defines a disproportionately impacted area as census tracts “having high rates of arrest, conviction, and incarceration relating to the sale, possession, use, cultivation, manufacture, or transport of marijuana.”

Additionally, the bill seeks to create a Justice Reinvestment Fund that would be financed with a portion of the state’s marijuana tax revenue. According to the authors of the bill, the fund would “be used for projects to improve quality-of-life for communities most impacted by the prohibition of marijuana and ‘War on Drugs’ era policies.” 

Because the bill seeks to establish new fees, it will require a 60% super-majority vote (3/5ths) to clear each General Assembly chamber (25 votes in the 41-member House, and 13 votes in the 21-member Senate).

The General Assembly is currently in recess for budget hearings. Lawmakers return to work on Tuesday, March 8.

E-mail from Delaware House Republican caucus, February 18, 2022.

Indeed, HB305 was released from the Appropriations Committee “on its merits” by the four aforementioned members. No members voted for it or against it. Back in January it advanced out of the Health and Human Development Committee with six in favor and three “on its merits” with the other six members not registering a vote. Since nine of the 15 members of the HHDC are Democrats, it’s likely they were the votes that passed it out of their committee. In fact, the composition of the Delaware General Assembly ensures this could pass without a GOP vote, as the House is 26-15 Democrat and the Senate 14-7. (Ironically, the Senate Democrats defeated their two best candidates for bipartisanship at the last election as they gained two seats over very moderate Republicans.)

According to this helpful article at the Delaware Live website, though, there was an important reason the bill was revamped.

In order to decrease the number of votes required for the bill to pass, Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Brookside, removed a proposal for a social equity loan fund.

The social equity loan fund would have directly paid for loans and grants for prospective marijuana growers and sellers who have, in the past, been negatively affected by the disproportionate prosecution of cannabis-related crimes. 

That component of the bill was designed to redress what many in the legislature — and their constituents — view as historical wrongs in the area of criminal justice.

But because it would have directed public funds to businesses, the Delaware Constitution would have required it to receive 75 percent of the legislature’s approval. 

Charlie Megginson, “Recreational marijuana bill heads to House floor,” Delaware Live, February 18, 2022.

I also found it interesting that the House leadership shuttled this bill, which serves as a successor to the heavily amended HB150 from last year’s portion of the session, from the HHDC to Appropriations instead of taking it to the floor.

(After starting this post, I found out from the above article that the reason was the amount dictated a Fiscal Note, and those bills automatically go to Appropriations. Moreover, the funding for HB150 was already in the budget. It’s different than the Maryland procedure I’m used to, where sending a bill to two committees is often done to pass an otherwise controversial bill.)

The new bill integrated most of the HB150 amendments, including provisions for Big Labor, along with the Justice Reinvestment (read: slush) Fund. Perhaps they were hoping that Appropriations would amend the bill to get a little bit of Republican support because, in principle, there’s nothing wrong with a state decriminalizing and taxing marijuana in the same manner as tobacco as it has become a de facto legal substance despite prohibition by the federal government.

I do object to the prohibition on people growing their own supply, at least on a limited basis for personal use. To me, it would be akin to not allowing people to create their own beer or wine and I’m sure some do. Heck, if people could grow tobacco in Delaware maybe they would to avoid the onerous cigarette taxes – and taxation is the largest part of what this is really about. (However, it seems that growing tobacco isn’t the hard part, curing and aging tobacco is. It’s probably more cost-effective for smokers to swallow the buck or two.)

But there’s also the “social equity” aspect that bothers me. Why are we watering down standards for one group that’s supposedly been oppressed for its existence? When I see a success story like Dr. Ben Carson, who raised himself up (with the assistance of his mother and his faith) from grinding poverty, as opposed to the trainwreck – despite his silver spoon upbringing – that is Hunter Biden, I realize that people put a lot of limits on themselves, creating the perception that we need “equity” which encourages big daddy government to step right up.

Basically, because the Democrats have complete control of the state, they can use bills as playthings to address their usually imagined grievances. So they’re layering on a lot of garbage to mess up a bill that would, on its surface, work in the right direction aside from the prohibition to “grow your own” as the government hates competition.

Once again, it’s not about what the people want, it’s about how the hand of government can pick winners or losers. Since we’ve become a nation that selectively enforces law anyway, we may as well leave the current system in place until we get a stripped-down proposal that does what needs to be done and doesn’t play favorites.

A blogging return

Back when I was part of a small but thriving Salisbury blogging community, one of the sites I enjoyed reading was called The Gunpowder Chronicle.

I say “Salisbury” based on where Tim Patterson grew up, not where he lived at the time he wrote the blog, up in northern Baltimore County (the “Hereford Zone”) in the basin of the Gunpowder River. But he often wrote about Salisbury affairs, and it was worthwhile reading for the three years or so that he regularly did the blog – it sort of faded from the limelight around 2010, although this internet archive shows he last posted in 2013.

So I was a little surprised to see on social media that The Gunpowder Chronicle was reborn in a different venue, Substack. Reading the initial post: yeah, he’s the same guy. (I originally typed “sane” – Freudian slip?) If I see a couple more posts in the next week I’ll place him back on the blog list he once occupied with his version 1.0 (check out this old view and see what I used to contend with.)

It also got me to thinking, though: is Substack the modern-day upscale version of Blogger? I hadn’t really heard of the site until Erick Erickson started his own Substack (after The Resurgent was bought out) but the difference is that many of those on Substack have a subscription base that pays $5 – 10 a month to read their work. (Erickson is one who I subscribe to, for the low end of the scale.) I also realized that I’m subscribed to a publication that in the process of moving, AND Magazine. They’re dropping their domained website to go to Substack because they’re worried about censorship.

So I got on the social media horn to welcome Tim back and asked why the change?

“Substack is committed to freedom of speech. I cannot say the same thing about Google/Blogspot,” he said, adding, “A secondary reason is I think the Substack model shows more promise going forward.” The former is indeed a valid concern, as Patterson also stated, “I am really unhappy with what Google has done with YouTube in terms of banning/cancelling/demonetizing people.”

On the other hand, that secondary reason does have potential for some – there weren’t many of us who properly monetized our sites when blogs were the thing, though, which is why we still have our day jobs. Longtime readers may recall I’ve had some advertisers and sponsors along the way, but they basically made my website a break-even enterprise at best. So I don’t hold out a lot of hope on that one.

All this got me to thinking, though: is it time to make a change, or expand?

In looking into Substack, it appears they deal with WordPress blogs; however, I only have a WordPress base while monoblogue is my domain. Said domain, though, is on at least its third server owner since I began with midPhase back in 2005 – they were bought out by someone who in turn was the little fish swallowed up by some other company that I believe operates out of the UK. I would love to be with a local entity but there’s not one I am aware of that would handle my site. Obviously I worry a little that my “barely left of militia” worldview may not comport with ownership but I don’t have the wherewithal to be my own server.

One answer may be to begin a Substack for the political but retain some of my features here, such as my news stories, Shorebird of the Week, its tracker, and the SotW Hall of Fame. Nothing imminent – right now it falls in my “something to pray about” file – but in this era it’s not a bad idea to have options.

In the meantime I think I’m one of Tim’s initial subscribers. Give him a look and maybe you will be too.