I'm posting this blog a little early as I will be in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, Friday & Saturday for a radio hobbyists' gathering, the SWL Winterfest.
So which stories / topics / issues are getting your attention?
You may have heard or read the story about that committee exploring how to keep Delaware's casinos more competitive with casinos in neighboring states. Study commission members reached a consensus that the state should split 75 percent of the cost for slot-machine vendors and fees with Delaware's three casinos, rather than have the casinos continuing to foot the entire bill. Recommended changes could cost the State of Delaware more than 20 Million dollars annually.
Reponse from our listeners has been almost universally negative. Typical arguments: Why should casinos be treated any differently than other struggling businesses? Perhaps the interest in casinos and gambling has peaked. Maybe they're living on borrowed time anyway. Considering the social costs to gambling, let them sink. To subsidize casinos when the family owning one of them built a competing casino in Maryland is unconscionable. When Delaware's casinos enjoyed a near monopoly, they should have planned for the future, improving infrastructure. Instead, they just took the profits. Result: Delaware Park is decrepit.
State Representative Dennis E. Williams (D-Talleyville) takes the argument in the other direction: Don't kowtow to the entrenched interests. Allow two more modern casinos to be built. If one or two of the others fail, so be it. He further argues that folks across the state line in Pennsylvania would bypass Harrah's in Chester for a state-of-the-art facility in Wilmington.
You can hear my interview with Representative Dennis E. Williams:
Personally, from state-sponsored lotteries to glittering casinos, I don't get it. Yes, I know people get that adrenalin rush while waiting to see if they've won, but there are more inexpensive (and healthy) ways to get that rush. Boring! In fact, I've never ever purchased a lottery ticket.
Word that the U.S. Air Force wants to cut 175 airmen from the Dover Air Force Base workforce and shift six of the base's modernized C-5 cargo jets to back-up status. Blame the Pentagon's shrinking budget under sequestration and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
With the situation so fluid, I hesitate to post stuff on this weekend blog about the missing Malaysian Airlines jet. But as of late Thursday, one senior U.S. Pentagon official was quoted as saying the military had "an indication" the plane had come down in the Indian Ocean. Malaysian authorities also expanded their search westward towards India.
Tick, tick, tick for Sunday's referendum in the Crimea - now under effective Russian control - on whether the peninsula's residents want to join Russia. Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk vows Ukraine "will never surrender" to Russia. President Obama's public pronouncements on Syria and Ukraine have led to articles in The NEW REPUBLIC (not exactly an anti-Obama magazine and website) with headlines like: "Speak Loudly & Carry a Small Stick: Obama has turned Teddy Roosevelt's famous maxim on its head".
Another provocative headline from The NEW REPUBLIC: "The Proportion of Young Americans Who Drive Has Plummeted -- and No One Knows Why"
Indeed, it DOES seem the emerging young generation is distinctly different from the last several, whether it be the degree of enthusiasm for cars, listening to radio vs. engaging in newer social media, etc. The virtual world takes the place of physically going somewhere else. Kids don't necessarily associate cars with freedom and autonomy as kids in previous generations. But would Millennials regain the car passion in better economic circumstances? And this may be more a Western phenomenon.
Stock markets were spinning downwards Thursday on the slowdown of Chinese growth and the Ukrainian crisis.
Posted at 2:01pm on March 13, 2014 by Allan Loudell
In regards to the Dover Air Force base, isn't this what we want? Less money spent on military and fewer wars?
Regarding the younger generation and driving - I had a conversation with a friend who has two kids driving age (18-20) and neither got a license till 18. Why? Neither passed the course and really didn't care to retake it. As they got older and needed to get jobs (at mom's insistence), they went back (on their own nickle) and retook the course. Plus, considering most of their social interaction comes when they are alone, what is the purpose of driving?
Thu, Mar 13, 2014 9:46pm
A judge in Massachusetts ruled that upskirt photography is not an invasion of a woman's privacy and therefore legal, at
least in that state.
Time for Richard Korn to file a lawsuit on behalf of child pornographers everywhere.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 14, 2014 8:14am
Casinos, I can't believe the state is even considering bailing out the "racinos" as they used to be called. Interesting, I thought this was a BLUE [liberal DEM] state, but apparently those DEMS in state government including Markell are DINOS [Democrats In Name Only]. The fact that they're even considering this makes these folks sound like Republicans, not Democrats. Corporate Welfare???
Interesting piece Allan wrote above, where one of the Casino-owners built a competing casino across the state line to compete, NOW wants you and I the taxpayer to fund his Delaware operation ????? Truth is definitely stranger than fiction. So we all need to send a clear message to our "stealth Republican Delaware government" that this is wrong, and do NOT give those casinos an extra dime. THAT's business, taking risks and reaping profits, or sinking and going out-of-business. IT IS NOT taking risks and reaping profits, but if it goes south then the taxpayers keep your business afloat, so essentially you have no risk.
THAT's not how it's supposed to work and as a taxpayer of Delaware, I say NO to any help for casinos. Those owners should understand this better than anyone since their business is gambling, and business legalized gambling. So for a long time they were winning; now lady luck isn't smiling on them, oh well, so sad. They knew the other states were building new casinos that would compete with them, but did nothing, so let the chips fall where they may - heh heh.
Fri, Mar 14, 2014 10:41am
I think we should turn over the casinos to our schools. We could program the slots to payout on math problems being answer correctly... They could be come our Smart Balanced Testing Sites...
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 14, 2014 10:45am
I went and found the New Republic article Allan cited above about the Millenials losing the love of freedom that comes from driving your own automobile.
This is happening in large cities where mass transit is excellent and where these "modern yuppies" live, work, and play in the city. So sure, if any of us lived in NYC, Philly, Chicago, LA, etc., and rarely if ever desired to go outside of that city; why own a car?
I don't believe this is going to be a big thing in Delaware.
First reason: Wilmington isn't large enough so there isn't much there to do, requiring a bus ride to the glorious suburbs and given how mediocre DART bus service is, especially in the suburbs, not a great option.
Second reason: Wilmington isn't a very safe city to live in, so even though there are some "yuppies" who choose to live in the city, most folks who can DON'T choose to live in the battle zone formerly known at Wilmington.
Third reason: As most folks, including Millennial, live in the Glorious Suburbs and NOT the city of Wilmington, they have even worse mass-transit via DART to contend with. Granted, it has improved over the years, but it's not even close to the level of service and convienience that is found in major cities. So unless you live near a DART route, you must own a car or you're stranded.
DART is mainly set up [in NCC] to offer suburbanites a way to commute to Downtown Wilmington for work as most of their routes run to Rodney Square making a Suburb-to-Suburb trip that requires riding more than one bus a long trip, because you have to travel to Rodney Square, change buses, and ride out of the city to your suburban location. This can take about 90 minutes each way during rush hour, longer after the rush-hour peak service times. So until this changes, Wilmington will still be a place where you need a car.
Open thread: Nothing against Rich Heffron but doesn't the fact that the Delaware Chamber of Commerce cannot find anyone else to run it, portend that its importance and reputation is not what it was? Its leadership role is being dropped like a slimy potato. I challenge that it is; that it IS suffering collateral damage as truth is constantly being leaked out about how manipulative big business has become and how most of America's woes are due to big business running completely unchecked....
Fri, Mar 14, 2014 11:10am
Mike, your views are outdated. Life has changed. Wilmington is an apartment town, now, two new high rises on the South End, with a view for miles. Top notch dining facilities in walking distance if you live on the Waterfront. If you work in Wilmington you have Market Steet at night; America's up and coming acts play there nightly; today's music equivalent of Frank Sinatra in the 40's. The bus service is regular; although I figured out this week that if you want to increase ridership, you need more runs, and that drives up costs before it begins to pay for itself. But to drive from Newark to Wilmington for a play at the Grand, costs $2 dollars each way, and then parking would cost $7 for a night. The bus now costs $1.50 each way, but for $3.15 you can get an all day pass and go anywhere.. The reason most people don't, and prefer cars, is due to having to wait an hour if you miss a bus. If buses ran every 10 minutes, and you were in the conversation with a friend beforehand, you'd think it was safe to finish the conversation and that you'd just take the next bus, it was only 10 minutes later. Plus, you relax and don't have to worry about potholes which will never get fixed unless we get that 10 cents a gallon gas tax through legislature and on the governor's desk.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 14, 2014 1:33pm
Kavips: I hear what you say, but the "troubled" neighborhoods are only blocks from there, and those folks with the guns, etc, also have access to the same buses or can easily walk to this "better" neighborhood. I can't imagine walking around there at night.
Maybe its a generational thing [I remember the riots of 1968 which pretty much put the final nails in Downtown's coffin - they had about 100 shops, at that time, including some department stores Downtown, as suburbanites would come to the city to shop - that ended in a serious way with those riots and never picked up again even years after 1968. Today there are far fewer stores of any kind downtown].
There's only a couple of high rise apartment buildings, so we're not talking that many folks, but I guess yes that small enclave would be the Wilmington version of what that article referred to. Wow, what a boring life, a 10-15 block area to live, play, and work? So what maybe a couple hundred people? Can those restaurants/nightclubs/theaters, etc, be supported by such a small number?
I do see where it would be in the city's best interest to try to grow that as much as possible, these folks have apparently good paying jobs as the rents for those new buildings are rather pricy, which also means they can pay city taxes, but with those "troubled neighborhoods" being so close by, which has been Downtown's Achilles Heel for decades, this has never being a gigantic success. But maybe again, its generational, maybe those millenials don't have the "fear" factor that keeps most suburanites out of the city unless they're called to serve on Jury Duty, or catching the AMTRAK train.
So maybe those millenials will be the "salvation" for Wilmington. Time will tell.
Sat, Mar 15, 2014 9:22am
Mike I think I see from your posts that it is a generational thing. The things you would look for in a city are not there. But young people have different ideas and to them, the city is a great place to go.
As for the neighborhoods, the shootings are drug-related. They will not matriculate to the nice districts, because people buying drugs will not be in the nice districts.
That makes the nice districts of Wilmington perhaps more safe than one's suburban neighborhood, where a crack-house could exist within a block of one's own house...
Crackheads can't and won't afford the areas of higher rent. They'd rather spend the money on crack.
Sat, Mar 15, 2014 9:37am
In other news, Tesla put up a great rebuttal to Chris Christie's refusal against Tesla selling cars on line, showing that a Republican's allegiance to free market and innovation only lie, as far as he is the one making all the money off of it. But a competitior? No, that should be illegal...
And people still support that losing party?... But support is down .. Yay!
There is hope and from current trends, it looks like every time one of them opens their mouth, it drops even further...
Looks like I missed the Tesla link in the above comment.
Sun, Mar 16, 2014 5:57pm
On another topic:
Two articles from the New York Times business section today, both related to income disparity.
First, the Justice Department has finally admitted that they will not be prosecuting the people responsible for the mortgage crisis. They had always previously denied that these rich important people would be allowed to get away with their crimes. Delaware's own Ted Kaufman is quoted: “The report fits a pattern that is scary for a democracy, that there really are two levels of justice in this country, one for the people with power and money and one for everyone else. And that eats at the heart of what I think makes this country great.”
Did I see a report correctly that the missing plane was last pegged off of Perth, Western Australia? Can't find the source now.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 4:32am
I think at this point we can conclude that the plane is no longer in the air. Whether it crashed or landed safely somewhere is still anybody's guess.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 8:33am
Dunmore: Sadly that's become the justice system in the U.S. If you're wealthy - be you from Hollyweird, Sports, Music, Politics, or Business - the book that gets thrown at you is far lighter than the book that gets thrown at the rest of us.
How many times does Lindsey Lowan have to get busted or arrested before she does any real time, in a real jail, among the real inmates? Same with Justin Beaver. Of course we should simply deport his butt back to Canada.
The politicians and business folks too also seem to have Teflon on them.
Frankly I believe our Founding Fathers would be appalled.
Now there's an issue that the TEA party could take up that I could get excited about, the same justice for us as the rich get, or the same justice for the rich folks that we get. The problem will be for the TEA party to sell the Koch brothers on such a plan - heh heh.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 10:32am
Here is more good news for Republicans and not such good news for Democrats. It appears that the "greatest President in our lifetime" is part of the problem for the DEMS.
"Mr. Obama’s approval rating of 41 percent in a Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll last week matched that of a New York Times/CBS News survey in February and represents one of the clearest reasons for Democratic malaise. Since the post-World War II era, that measurement has been one of the most accurate predictors of mid-term results, and any number below 50 means trouble for the party that holds the White House.
“The state of Democrats is very much tied to the state of the president, and in that regard, these are far from the best of times,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.
In addition to problems with the health law, the White House is losing the support of Democrats on key appointments such as Mr. Obama’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and his choice to be surgeon general. Also last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, broke with the administration with a scalding criticism of the Central Intelligence Agency."
Again, the G.O.P./TEA folks could be poised to have a great election year 2014 and 2016, if they don't get arrogant, pick good folks the public can support [not just the party faithful - Palin's or O'Donnell's], make sure the 55+ crowd knows the Republicans will not touch Social Security for that group of folks, stay away from "women's issues, and also present a workable plan to fix Obamacare, not just eliminate it, but what do they propose to fix our health-care system beyond Health Savings Accounts, since that plan only benefits the wealthy? They've got some work to do, but if they play their cards right, could cause a real " voter revolt" against the Obama policies and reclaim both the Congress and White House.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 2:13pm
Mike, believe it or not I would agree with your assessment. Obama is facing the same issue that GHW Bush faced in the early 90's. He ran as a conciliatory candidate, but is serving in a time when conciliatory tactics are useless against an party that only wants to see you burn.
The most effective solution that could presently take place and push America forward, is for the Senate to dissolve the filibuster thereby completely shutting Republicans from any say in the Senate, for Obama to create popular executive orders, and then force the House and Conservative Supreme Court to deny them all, then take that to the American People that their lives could be so much better if they got rid of the trash once and for all... The most successful presidents all ran roughshod over their opposition. Going backwards: Clinton, Truman, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln, Jackson, Jefferson, and Washington, the last, who actually in the middle of his presidency, put himself at the head of his army and marched into Western PA himself to put down a Whiskey Tax Rebellion....
Obama is playing the part of the pansy, and not attacking the real problem, which is the power being held by only the wealthy in this country... But that said, history will still rate him as one of our best for what he has done... Rick Jensen still praises Calvin Coolidge (for heaven's sake), and Obama out-performed him years ago....
If one sits and thinks over all the ramification, the true enemy of the American People this day, this time, are the philosophies behind the Republican Party, which boiled down, comes to this: take care of the elite; screw everyone else....
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 3:30pm
Kavips: Good post. Good comparison between Papa Bush and Obama.
Where Obama really messed up is when he lied to those of us who already had insurance via our employers [which isn't free; we paid a premium plus deductibles prior to Obamacare] and who were already having their medical bills "padded" by the freeloaders using the ERs and getting free meds, etc.
According to Obama's own words heard many times on radio/TV: Insurance was supposed to be less expensive; we could keep our doctors; keep our existing plans, etc., etc. Instead, he's giving away stuff totally FREE and punishing the rest of us with higher costs, higher premiums, higher deductibles, etc., etc.
I am all in favor of helping folks get insurance, but I'd rather know the truth than be lied to. That shows no respect for me, or the rest of the American public, and that to me is a total deal-breaker and as polling has shown Red states now are only 3 states fewer than Blue states, all since 2008 [Obama's presidency].
Most people take it real personal when they get lied to, but even more so when its THEIR money that's affected in a negative way by the lie.
Essentially he validated all the stuff Rush/Beck/Hannity/Jensen/Fox News have all said about him. He can't overcome this. He's done.
After 2016, he'll go off and build his Prez Library in Hawaii or Kenya [as the joke goes] and he and whomever he ends up with after Michelle leaves him [don't think she's forgotten those selfies with the Danish Prime Minister at Mandella's funeral], but he'll live the life of comfort and privlege, so don't feel too badly for him. He's in the history books and will live a charmed life as a former President.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 10:41pm
Mike, I don't buy your Obama lie story. It was uttered to the best of his knowledge at the time. "If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance" he said. With hindsight he should have added, "unless your insurance company takes it away from you in order to shake you down for more money." Then, what he said would have been true, and we would not be discussing it here today.
That last statement is exactly what happened, and to be honest, who really two years ago thought insurance agents were that evil to want to actually hurt their customers just to make a point? It is similar to Chamberlain trusting Hitler to keep his word before we knew that Hitler had no intention to do otherwise. If someone, anyone, tells you they will do something, and you have no other reason yet to disbelieve them, how do you know they will go back on their word?
The insurers were the ones who canceled. They could very well have adjusted their policies. They are the evil ones, just like Hitler was the evil one, and not Chamberlain.
So do people blame Chamberlain? Some. Was Hitler the culprit? Absolutely.
So recognize you are victim of only half the story if you don't see the fact that the evil insurers like evil Hitler, were the backstabbers who put the knife in your back. Not Chamberlain, not Obama.
Lol if you really want to get back and make the true culprits pay for what they did... support single-payer. That is the best customer deal in town.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 10:44pm
On breaking news. Gravitational waves were seen from the big bang, it was announced today...
The last missing evidence of Einstein's General Relativity Theory has now been verified. The excitement now ramps up to discover the Theory of Everything.
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 10:48pm
And breaking news today. Despite Governor Markell telling the News Journal, and despite it never being challenged by the news media, when as clear as global warming the evidence speaks otherwise.... that 95% of teachers support Common Core, the DSEA (our state teacher's organization) voted overwhelmingly to give a no-confidence vote to the implementation of Common Core at its weekend convention.
Common Core is taking a beating from all over. And those still supporting it are bantering about like banshees at their own funeral....
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Mar 18, 2014 8:32am
Kavips: The ACA set minimum standards that policies had to meet [no other option], so even if your insurer updated that policy, it would now be considered to be a new policy and the price certainly would go up if they're required to provide additional services. You can't convince me Obama and his "experts" didn't know that. Obama played "used car saleman" and only told part of the story, because he and his fellow henchmen realized that IF they had told the truth, Obamacare would have died on the vine. The public didn't get to see the law, so we had only his word to rely on. He and his fellow cronies did get to see the law, so they knew there was going to be a required standard that many people's insurance wouldn't meet, thus they'd lose that old policy AND have to pay more. I'm no fan of the insurance industry, but in fairness to them they didn't get an option to even continue to offer the old policy at first.
Only AFTER the gigantic pushback by the public and most insurers had canceled those old policies did Obama delay that, but the damage had been done.
The thing to remember is Obama said back as a candidate Obama [Hannity played the actual voice clip of candidate Obama - I believe he was running for his Congressional Seat- saying this at some DEM fundraiser] that Obamacare is simply the first step, the actual goal is Single Payer, but realizes that the nation won't make that big of a jump, so just as Canada did, we're doing something else first, and when that doesn't work well, the nation will gladly make the second jump to Single Payer.
So the "Chicago Politician" has had an agenda from the beginning and did and said what he had to say, in order to get what he wanted done, sadly that included lieing to the American public.
On another topic: Kavips: I did see that article about the Gravitational waves from the big bang. Very interesting.
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