Friday, August 29, 2008

Change? Maybe.

Now that the tickets are set, I'll have to spend some time learning more about these people and figure out which I should go push the button for in November, I'll share what I learn, if anything, along the way.

Our choices seem to be (in no particular order, but you can read into the order if you'd like to make assumptions):
Barack Obama/Joe Biden (D)
John McCain/Sarah Palin (R)
Bob Barr/Wayne Root (L)
Chuck Baldwin/Darrell Castle (C)
Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzalez (I)
(Each name is linked to Wikipedia - a good starting point - but do your own research beyond the wiki, please).

At this point in time, from what I know, the one person who stands out at all is this Sarah Palin chick from Alaska.

I really don't care for McCain, at all - I'll post my reasons later if I have time but his age has a lot to do with that. McCain having chosen a 44 year old "new comer" as a VP *MIGHT* be enough to get me to vote for him - really a vote for Palin.

From what I can tell upon my quick 20 minute search and reading - she was very much the AverageNoOne just trying to make a difference and now here she is making a difference. I like her position on gun control, oil drilling (I know, I know "she's just a shill for BigOil, man!"), her husband is a commercial fisherman from what I read and it seems like her position on the Magnuson-Steven's Act would be good for NJ fisheries (I haven't read all of the details yet so I could be wrong). She hasn't served time in DC before which leads me to think she doesn't have previous connections to the beltway that will hinder her decision making. While I really really really don't want to place a vote for McCain - he MIGHT have won my vote with this pick, mostly because he's OLD and this woman could become the next president rather quickly. (plus just think, that porn site could return! ohh no the C party is going to come after me for suggesting this as a joke...blah)

As the days and weeks come, I'm sure that I'll learn more about Mrs. Palin and I'm sure I'll like somethings and not like some others. In the meantime, I'll try to come up with the reasons I like, and don't like, the other choices and we'll narrow this field down a bit.

I will offer these Random Thoughts for now
Obama is *LIKE* a newcomer (Score: + 1) but Obama's energy policy means I won't be driving that Corvette anytime soon (Score: -10) and health care and health insurance are two different things which should not be merged into some socialist program. Obama is also against the 1st and 2nd amendment which is a big hit on his score (search for Obama comments about Don Imus for 1st amendment and his position on gun ownership for 2nd amendment). I like my bill of rights, Obama blatantly violates at least the first two basic rights I have. (Score: -oo - not vote for you)

Biden has been in office longer than I've been alive (Score: -1) and represents a state friendly/home to failing banks (JP Morgan/Chase) - (Score: -oo - no vote for you!) I don't know much more about him, I'll learn.

McCain is old (Score: -1 and yes, I know "you agist - you complain about youth rights and then you discriminate on age" I know, it's great to have double standards) and McCain has also been in office longer than I've been alive (Score: -1 more) McCain also tries to pretend he's against the illegal immigration but said issue is a MAJOR problem in his home state. If McCain can't control the problem in his own state, why should I expect him to control the problem nation wide? (Score: -oo - no vote for you)

Sarah Palin - From first glance I think I like her. At least for now. From what I can tell she was outspoken about the failure and corruptions of her own party in her home state and has been well liked in her home state. (Score: +10)

Bob Barr is a confusing guy to learn about. I like some of what I read, dislike alot more, tough sell, needs more information.

Wayne Root is on a different page from Barr and wrecks any chances Barr might have had to get a few votes. In fact, Wayne Root is a dolt. *I* would be a better pick than Wayne Root for the Ls and I don't know anything about being president or vice president.

Baldwin is member of the C party - C for Church - not C for Constitution and is a "Reverend", enough said. His VP isn't worth a look. (Score: -oo - no vote for you!)

Nader seems to be a youth rights supporter (Score: +500!) but I didn't vote for him in past elections for one reason or another. Given the lack of great choice this year, I WILL be giving Nader another fair and honest look this year. I know nothing about his VP pick.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"WaaaaWaaaa" and "Fight The Blight"

If you've read the worst newspaper in the world recently, you might have come across many articles covering the proposal to build a WaWa gas station at the site of the old Eatontown Roller Rink in Eatontown on Rt 35, a state highway.

In the most recent story, the APP published a nice picture of the skating rink looking somewhat usable and almost presentable. Unfortunately, the press has it all wrong as my morning photos of the site show (see left).

The building is abandoned, has been for at least a few years now, and has been covered in graffiti for most of that time. The front columns have all been marked with a "B" (I don't know much about gangs, might this be a "B"loods tag? I'm asking, not implying. I don't know.) The glass above the door is broken and the front door is boarded closed with some flimsy plywood; the other doors aren't "secured" much better and I suspect that with little effort, I could be inside the building within seconds, not even minutes. The sides of the building are also marked with "B"s, along with a "DJK" and some other marks including something that looks like it reads "the flu?" Whatever.

With the photo and description of the site corrected, let us review the story. WaWa, a convenience store and gas station chain, wants to open a 24/7 store/station with 12 pumps where this blight currently exists. "Local Residents", specifically those on Clinton Ave immediately behind the old Roller Rink, contend that a gas station somehow "puts them in danger", "creates blight", "creates noise pollution", "creates traffic", etc and suggest that Eatontown Zoning regulations need to prohibit WaWa from opening a new store; a classic, "the little people" vs "big bad corporation" with the press lining up behind the people and local government seeming to lean toward business.

My first observation, obviously, is that the site currently is a disgrace. Rt 35 is a heavily traveled state highway and anyone who drives by the site sees this abandoned building, covered in graffiti. And it's not JUST this one building, as my pictures show, the building (an old All Tune & Lube) next door is equally in disrepair. If I were a tourist coming down to "the Shore" and passed this area, I'd think the area was "blighted" and if I were looking to purchase a home, I probably wouldn't be motivated to purchase a home near a building that is (poorly) boarded up and covered in graffiti, which leads me to my next observation.

When I purchased my first home in Long Branch almost 4 years ago, I knowingly purchased a home that is within 500ft of not one but two gas stations AND a 7-11 convenience store. Additionally, my single family home is in a residential area on the border of an Industrial/Commercial use zone - in fact, my house backs to a self-storage business and I have a state highway (36) a block over. I knowingly purchased my residential property on the border of such things - business and highways - just as residents of Clinton Ave knowingly purchased property bordering Industrial/Commercial zones and near a state highway, which leads me to my next observation.

Living near a state highway, I expect traffic. One of the complaints that the local residents voice is that WaWa means traffic and so "a more suitable location should be selected". More suitable location? The location is along a BUSY state highway. WaWa is not looking to open on Clinton Ave, they are looking to open on State Highway 35. Also, we're talking about a gas station, not a roller skating rink. Back in the day, when I was just a young boy (last week), my mother used to drop my friends and I off from Keansburg to Eatontown, essentially her trip, like the hundreds of others, was traffic going to that very location that otherwise wouldn't have been going to that location. If a WaWa existed where the roller rink existed, I highly doubt that my mother would have been "traffic" driving all of the way from Keansburg to Eatontown, just for WaWa. In other words, the "added traffic" is just not reasonable and would have been more of a problem with the roller rink than a gas station, not to mention the whole argument is even more unreasonable since we're talking about a state highway.

Another observation is that "local residents" cite "safety" in their arguments. Specifically, they claim there will be fuel spills that pollute the environment and explosions that would level the neighborhood. Really? While I don't doubt that there are fuel spills at gas stations and I don't doubt that there has been an explosion or two at gas stations in the past, I have trouble finding stories of "100,000 gallons of diesel spilled at gas station" nor can I find daily incidents of exploding gas stations. Again, in my nearly 4 years of living within 500ft of *2* gas stations, I've yet to see, hear or feel an explosion and I can't recall a single incident that involved the fire department. Not to mention, at $4/gal for fuel, I don't think WaWa's business plan is to spill fuel all over the ground; which reminds me that I also haven't seen a river of spilled fuel flowing down my street.

The local residents also cite "loitering". I'll leave this one alone other than to say that when I was just a kid, I used to hang out outside of the roller rink with my friends waiting for mom to show up in her minivan to pick us up. My friends and I would just cruise the parking lot/local streets on our kick'n skates until she arrived. I don't recall ever hanging out at a gas station as a kid however, I have held and attended car club events, approved by station management, at gas stations. Us car enthusiast folk don't cause too much trouble, honestly.

Which all leads me to my final observation - I shop at my local gas station and local 7-11, it's GREAT! When I need gas for my lawn mower - I walk, yes, one foot in front of the other, with my gas can down to the corner and fill my little red gas jug. Before I started having the worst newspaper in the world delivered to my front door, I used to walk to 7-11 EVERY morning to buy the paper and a cup of coffee, I still walk to 7-11 most nights for coffee, I bring my puppy - she begs for pets out front. And when it comes to "crime" I, again, haven't had any issues. I believe 7-11 has been robbed all of *2* times in the 4 years I've been at my house - each time I hear nothing, see nothing and just go about my day or night, my alarm system happily monitoring the house and my weapons loaded and ready, within reach at all times.

And with all of these observations noted, I should stress, it's NOT that I'm against private property rights, far from it really. I'm against zoning boards entirely - I find them to be an over extension of government - well intended but as corrupt and deficient as most other government work. Just as I don't want to have to pay the city zoning board for a permit to build a deck, or having pay the local zoning board to replace my crumbling sidewalk, I don't want the zoning board telling anyone what they can or can't build on their property. If my neighbor wanted to build a garbage dump on his property, well that kind of sucks for me, but it's his property, do what you want. If I was really so worried about this happening, I wouldn't purchase a house that has all of 10 feet buffer space between homes.

All of this on the same day, and same page, as "Long Branch appeals blight case" news, which is what I found ironic - the "nice" view of the roller rink, vs the blight that really exists.

My opinion? Stop the complaining already. You purchased a home near a highway, bordering an industrial zone, deal with it. Gas stations are safe, they bring in a lot of money/taxes/jobs and the rest of us like that WaWa seems to have "cheap" prices for gas and food - far "cheaper" than the LukOil station (which was $3.99 for 93 this AM vs Hess's $3.75 - WaWa would probably be a cent or two CHEAPER than Hess). At the same time that Ft. Monmouth is closing and business is leaving NJ, here is one, WaWa, that actually WANTS to spend money to improve the neighborhood (because that eyesore of a roller rink would get knocked down) and bring some money and jobs into town.

My pictures are below:
The app "PRESS FILE PHOTO" - how nice.... right?
As close as I could get to recreating the "PRESS FILE PHOTO" - not the "B"s... wonderful

The back/side of the building. Note the plywood door.

some more artwork and more unsafe doors.

a bullseye? target? The Flu? Huh?
A shot of the front/side... Maybe the artist meant to write "BRB" like Be Right Back but accidentally closed his R into a B? Yeah...

The broken glass above the door and another secure door... B for Bro!

All Tune & Lube next door, also looking like it's seen better days.

And one of my puppy of course, because we need a picture of something nice!

To be fair - I won't complain about Frank Pallone in this blog entry and I have no idea who the mayor is in Eatontown or if it's an "R" town or a "D" town, nor do I care, the issue is something different/bigger than that that I can't put a finger on just who/what I think the problem is just yet but you hopefully see what I'm getting at here.

UPDATE - 2:07PM - A reader emailed me to tell me that Barnes & Noble will be opening a store in Eatontown and closing their West Long Branch store. "Hopefully the mall is far enough away from those local residents on Clinton Ave!" was the quote. Classic, thanks! :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My donation page is up! Is It?

Someone who read a previous entry here has setup a donation page for me I guess....

Seriously... if anyone wants to donate some money to my C6 ZR1 fund, please leave me an email, Thanks! Otherwise, I don't recommend donating money through these election mall folks...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Frank "Better Late Than Never" Pallone on Monmouth Park, finally

After over 2 years, Mr. Pallone has decided to get involved in the problem that is Monmouth Park polluting the Branchport Creek. Other concerned neighbors tell me that the worst newspaper in the world did their usual terrible job of covering the story.

Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr., D-N.J., issued an ultimatum to the N.J. Sports and Exposition Authority on Saturday to come up with a plan to solve the pollution leak problems at Monmouth Park Racetrack, or expect to see further legal action taken against the authority."I am very upset over this latest
pollution," said Pallone at Saturday morning's Oceanport borough council meeting held at Monmouth Park. "It does bother me when a New Jersey state agency, in this case that the N.J. Sports and Exposition Authority, rather than be an example of how to make the environment better, becomes instead a poster child on how to be a polluter."The state Department of Environmental Protection on Aug. 21 levied a $140,000 fine on Monmouth Park Racetrack for allegedly discharging untreated wastewater into Branchport Creek.

*Yawn*. November must be fast approaching as Frank does whatever it takes to get his name in the news for something good, after two years of nothing good.

Say, how is that FEMA issue going Frank? Haven't heard from you in a while. How about the closed beached two weeks ago in the deal section?

In either case, I'm glad to see Frank getting involved, or at least claiming to be getting involved. Let's see if he comes through on this one.

The APP story can be read here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Your tax dollars to work!

Say "thanks again" to Frank Pallone - you may soon be licking the back of a stamp commemorating inflammatory bowel disease! No bullshit, pardon the lame pun.

Title: To provide for the issuance of a commemorative
postage stamp on the subject of inflammatory bowel disease.
Sponsor: Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [NJ-6] (introduced 7/31/2008) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 7/31/2008 Referred to House committee.
Status: Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Now I get it, I'm not a total clod, Crohn's disease is a real disease, but do we need a stamp to commemorate it? What is the cost to mass produce such a stamp anyhow? And do I pay that cost when I try to mail something and pay more for a single stamp or do I pay for that cost when I pay my taxes? Silly, I know, but then even if I had, or knew someone who had, Crohn's disease, I'd like to think that my congressman either does nothing or comes up with something better than a stamp to help out.

Regardless, once again, way to go Frank, glad to see you working so hard and staying focused on the important issues. I suppose you finished helping out those Lyme disease protestors? If not, maybe you can get them a stamp next? I'm sure that nothing would help people suffering from Lyme disease more than to see a stamp so get to it! The clock is a ticking... those gas prices, polluted rivers, polluted oceans, foreign wars, etc, etc, etc can all wait - this is what we sent you to DC to do!

P.S. - NOTE THOSE UNDERLINES! Learned that trick this weekend as well! Underlining words makes a "hidden" and "secret" message!

How are Willie Randolph and Frank Pallone alike?

(Start off with a Teaser! I learned that trick this weekend... thanks Hank!)

I'm not a sports fan, the mere thought of grown men being paid millions of dollars to play little kid's games for the entertainment of (mostly) other grown men bugs me on some level that can not be described in words; maybe I'm just jealous that I have to sit in a fabric cube in front of a computer to earn a few bucks. Regardless, the local media coverage of "The Amazins" coming back from a <.500 season under "fan favorite" Willie Randolph got me thinking: what other "fan favorites" are miserable failures whose constituents would be best served with a good firing?

Let us review. On June 18th, those New York Mets were having a miserable 34 win and 35 loss season. As I said, I'm not a sports fan, but I know that a record like that is just not good. Fan favorite Willie Randolph was then fired and replaced with a virtual unknown in New York, Jerry Manuel - a former Chicago White Sox coach has a mediocre at best record. Now how are those Mets doing two months later?

Just fine! In fact, great. Under their new leadership, those Mets are currently pulling off a 68 win / 56 loss season, imagine if they had started out on a good foundation and weren't trying to rebound from a sub .500 start?

So what does this have to do with Frank Pallone? I thought it was kind of obvious, Pallone is - for some reason unknown to me - a seemingly well liked "fan favorite". The people of NJ's 6th district seem to vote him into office year after year with ever growing higher percentages and while his vote count continues to rise each year, we the people end up worse off each year.

Our Bayshore area residents are faced with the FEMA flood map situation, our economy is threatened by the closure of Fort Monmouth, our beaches are more polluted than ever. Combine these facts with the fact that New Jersey taxes are the highest in the nation and in fact, New Jersey receives the least back for it's tax money, then add in rising healthcare costs (while Frank Pallone is the chairman of the House Subcommitte on Health) and closures of our hospitals, not to mention the rising cost of oil/fuel which Pallone offers no hope for and Pallone's lack of action to clean up the river in his hometown and Pallone is certainly holding a losing record in my sports almanac.

I, for one, would call this year, and many prior years under Pallone's "leadership", losing seasons and although Pallone is a "Fan Favorite" and his challenger this November, Robert McLeod is quite the unknown, I have to think - if Mets fans are better off with the relatively unknown manager - maybe We the People would be better off with relatively unknown Bob McLeod?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Frank Pallone to play Robin Hood!

I did my usual scan of the price at the pump this morning in order to decide which station I'll stop at on my way home to save a lousy $.03 and was pleased to see that the prices are continuing to fall; $3.83 for premium over at Hess in West Long Branch on Rt 36, how exciting. Of course, I'm really not that old and I do recall paying $1.17 or so for 93 back in December of 97 when I bought my first TransAm so seeing triple the price irks me.

Alas, I fear not! Frank Pallone is coming to my rescue.

On Frank Pallone's recent interview with NEIL Cavuto, Frank laid out his position on gas prices and off-shore drilling. No surprises here, Frank mad the usual D argument "we should just tax the rich and give to the poor" and then bashes the Rs for providing tax credits to the oil industry. In the end, there are only loser, we the tax payers who happen to be we the consumers.

Frank seems to be all for off-shore drilling "just not in environmentally sensitive areas", which begs the question, how is the middle of the Atlantic "environmentally sensitive", I mean, surely the Piping Plover doesn't have a home out there since it has a nice home on the beaches here, the same beaches we the tax payers are prohibited from using for the bird's benefit. Sure there could be an oil spill 50 miles out and oil could wash up on the beach but then again, I have to point out the obvious, there is plenty of off-shore drilling going on in the Gulf of Mexico and those southern states don't have gallons of oil washing up on shore... in fact, if they did, I suspect some of my redneck friends down in Texas with broken down cars on blocks would be scooping up the free oil at the beach.

I also have to ask again.... it's offshore drilling - how/why is 50 miles or so out "off the shore of New Jersey"? They are federal waters to the best of my knowledge, why don't we just say it's off the coast of Long Island (where they are still paying over $4.50/gal for 93 according to some friends out east on the island) and let Long Islanders decide?

Regardless.... I find the interview funny, especially when Frank keeps calling NEIL the name "Nick".

The interview follows to save you the click:

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," August 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, the energy crisis, some say it is solved? Well, forget Congress. Would you believe that Paris Hilton might have the answer to America's energy crisis?
CAVUTO: I want you to take a look at this.
PARIS HILTON, ACTRESS: OK. So, here's my energy policy. Barack wants to focus on new technologies to cut foreign oil dependency. And McCain wants offshore drilling. Well, why don't we do a hybrid of both candidates' ideas? We can do a limited offshore drilling, with strict environmental oversight, while creating tax incentives to get Detroit making hybrid and electric cars. Energy crisis solved.
CAVUTO: I just want to say officially on this show, I want to make Paris Hilton president of the United States, because, clearly, she gets it. Why can't Congress?

From the star of "A Simple Life," a very simple, alarmingly, deceptively simple
solution: Drill now until all of those fuel-efficient cars are ready.
With us
now, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, who opposes additional
offshore drilling.
Congressman, Paris Hilton gets it. Why don't you?
FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, I think the Paris Hilton ad was funny, but
the bottom line is that the Democrats have tried over and over again to pass
legislation that would allow for more drilling, that would basically allow the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be used to try to bring down lower prices.
the Republicans have simply refused to vote for any of these things that would
achieve energy independence.
CAVUTO: All right. When you say allowed for more
drilling, Nancy Pelosi skipped town and started your five-week recess,
specifically forbidding a vote on more drilling.
PALLONE: Well, the -- what
we have said is that, right now, a number of the oil companies have about 80
percent of the reserves that are out there that could be drilled. And we have
said let them drill on those leases that they now have, be they offshore or on
CAVUTO: So, you go -- you go back to that...
PALLONE: And, if they
don't, then...
CAVUTO: All right, Congressman, you go back to that
PALLONE: ... you know, then they lose their lease.
right. You go back to that same canard. I don't want to debate that.
What I
want to go back to here is this notion -- Paris gets it -- Barack Obama, by the
way, lately, seems to get it -- be open for drilling. Be open for these
alternative energy forms. Be open for conservation. We can all fill our tires, I
guess, do all that stuff, but be open to it all. Jump ball, have at it, everyone
decide that all of the above works for us, and don't pick and choose what you
like or don't like. Just do everything.
PALLONE: Well, the problem is that
almost everything that you've mentioned, Nick (sic), has been tried by the
Democrats and put up as legislation to move, and the Republicans have simply not
allowed it to pass, and have voted against it, whether it's...
have you wanted to -- wait, wait, wait. No, no, no. When have you wanted to
expand drilling beyond what it is now? Update me.
PALLONE: No, we don't want
to drill into those offshore areas that are environmentally sensitive. That's
certainly true.
But something like 82 percent of the offshore sites now could
be drilled with the leases that the oil companies currently hold. And what we're
saying is, if they don't drill, they lose their lease.
CAVUTO: All right,
now, I'm going to tell you -- you know what I'm going to do, Congressman? I
respect you and all, but I'm going to tell you this once, and only once, because
I think we go around in circles talking on this issue.
The leases that are
out there, many would happily turn in for more promising leases at a moment's
notice, and have begged Congress to provide them that wherewithal to swap out
the leases.
PALLONE: No, I don't think that's true. I think that they don't
want to drill, because they want the price to go up.
CAVUTO: All right, they
don't want to.
By the way, one thing I do know about companies, Congressman,
they love to make money. And if they can dig up more oil to make more
PALLONE: But they are making money hand over fist. And the problem
is that they won't drill, because they like the fact that...
-- they -- right -- they...
PALLONE: ... that it's scarce, and that they can
charge more.
CAVUTO: If it's -- if it's a -- if it's a commodity that you
argue we're running out of, and -- and they know they're running out of it, then
something tells me it would behoove them to get more of that commodity, so they
can keep making money.
But that's neither here nor there.
don't agree...
CAVUTO: Congressman, what I want to ask you...
because, then, the price goes down.
PALLONE: They don't want
the price to go down.
CAVUTO: What I want to ask you, Congressman, are you
for or against Barack Obama's windfall profits tax plan, that is, in other
words, to take some of the profits from the oil companies and use it to
PALLONE: Absolutely.
CAVUTO: ... a rebate for America?
And they should be used for renewables. I think that's a very good idea. And,
again, we have -- we have had that on the floor, and the Republicans opposed
CAVUTO: Well, maybe they opposed it because it was a stupid idea, right?
I mean, is it possible...
PALLONE: No, it's a good idea...
then what makes the oil companies...
PALLONE: ... because it means that you
could take that money for renewables.
CAVUTO: All right.
Now, have long
have you been in Congress?
PALLONE: Twenty years.
CAVUTO: All right. So,
you just missed the wonderful Carter experience with the windfall profits tax,
PALLONE: What I'm saying is that, if you take that big subsidy that
the Republicans and Bush gave to big oil, it's about, you know, something like
$12 billion over the period of years, and, if you took that back, and gave it to
renewables to give people a tax credit or an incentive to do solar energy or
wind power...
CAVUTO: No. Well, you know, Congressman, that's a little
Now, you and I agree on this much. And I think many Republicans
are beginning to grudgingly say, do away with credits and subsidies for an
industry that's making a lot of money. I don't think a lot of even conservatives
would even...
PALLONE: But they didn't vote for it. They voted against it,
Nick (sic).
CAVUTO: I want to get to the issues here and not talking
So, let me ask you this. If the Republicans were to agree to cut a
lot of the subsidies and tax breaks that oil enjoys, as long as we stopped this
debate over drilling, you look to more drilling, you look to some of the things
that you want to do, they look to more -- to more alternatives...
Well, we can't drill in environmentally sensitive areas, where it's going to
mean that you have an oil spill that impacts the beaches.
CAVUTO: Tell that
-- then how are you explaining to your constituents, who are paying through the
nose for gas, and a majority of whom say, even in directly affected states like
Florida and New Jersey, that they would happily put up with more drilling if it
PALLONE: No, I don't -- I don't think that's true.
CAVUTO: ... if
it meant -- well...
PALLONE: I mean, you should know -- you should know, Nick
(sic), that I represented a district that's along the beaches and has billions
of dollars in industry coming from the beaches, and my constituents do not want
us drilling.
CAVUTO: Well, I talk to people who live near the beaches, and I
have -- and they have heard that a lot of these offshore plans are 50, 60 miles
offshore. They can't see it from their beautiful condos...
you look at the areas, for example, in California or in the Gulf of Mexico where
they drill...
CAVUTO: No, no, no. Congressman, you're telling me now that you
are against more drilling offshore.
PALLONE: ... there's no
There's no -- you -- you...
CAVUTO: Barack Obama has said that he
is open to drilling more. You're saying no. Barack Obama says that, if it could
be included in a list of things that you want to do, he would be for it. Nancy
Pelosi says she doesn't want to do it.
PALLONE: Well, Obama didn't say
CAVUTO: You just said that you don't want to do.
PALLONE: He said
that he doesn't want to drill in those environmentally sensitive areas, but that
he would be willing to negotiate. But he doesn't want to do that. And I
certainly would not encourage him to drill in those environmentally sensitive
areas that might impact the beaches or our tourism.
CAVUTO: So, this whole
thing, Congressman, can go away by taxing the oil companies, tapping the excess
profits they have -- never mind they pay a ton in taxes as it is -- but you're
-- you're arguing, look, they're making money hand over fist. Let's take more of
that money.
You weren't around for the Carter years. I -- I have looked at a
little, you know, bit of history here. That experience did not seem to go
gangbusters. You're willing to try that...
PALLONE: Yes, but what I'm saying
is, you take that money you give it to renewables.
CAVUTO: Wait a minute.
You're willing to try that again -- well, who...
PALLONE: You give that to
renewables like solar and wind power.
CAVUTO: You are now going -- you're
Robin Hood now. So, you are going to take from one group, assume that it will
work better with another group, and you're going to pick and choose the
industries you think will benefit?
PALLONE: Well, what I want to do is to
give, like, incentives to homeowners and commercial properties to put in
renewables, whether it be solar or wind power or whatever, use that excess
profit for that, to give them, you know, some kind of subsidy or tax break if
they put solar panels on their homes...
CAVUTO: Congressman, I wish we had
more time.
PALLONE: ... or they retrofit...
CAVUTO: Here's -- here's where
I see the block, sir. And I see it with Republicans, too. They won't give on
these tax credits for an industry that I don't think needs it. You won't give on
drilling that your constituents clearly -- clearly want to see.
I want drilling to take place...
CAVUTO: Well, you just said you
PALLONE: ... just not in environmentally sensitive areas.
This is like what the meaning of the word "is" is.
I'm telling you, what
you're against is doing the things that your party, in lockstep, rejects,
because it doesn't think it's a good idea, or environmentalists have you by a
PALLONE: Well, I represent a district in New
CAVUTO: And, by the way...
PALLONE: ... that has
tourism along the beaches. So, this is very important to my district.
There are a lot of Florida -- there are a lot of Florida areas that have
tourism, and they, too, have been looking at the price at the pump, sir, and
said, you know what, drill away, drill away.
PALLONE: I don't believe
CAVUTO: But there's got to be a middle ground here...
don't believe that people in those areas are for it.
There's got to be a middle ground. I'm saying, if Republicans drop their
push for tax credits, would you drop your resistance to what's happening on the
other front?
PALLONE: No. We can't have drilling in areas where there are
going to be spills that are going to destroy the beaches.
PALLONE: No, that's not acceptable.
CAVUTO: All right. Well, and away
we go.
All right, Congressman, thank you very much. Appreciate
PALLONE: Thank you, Nick (sic). I appreciate being on.
Well, it's Neil, but we're friends.

Friday, August 8, 2008

At least it's Friday... Updates on Ruth and George

I've been busy with work so I haven't been able to post updates or keep up with the news and happenings. A few items worth noting before I get back to work:

1) I received a total of 3 emails from people asking for an update on Ruth, the old lady neighbor. No good news really. Senior services called me back to let me know that they stopped by Ruth's house and everything was in order; working utilities, she had food in the fridge, water and knew how to prepare meals. She also was able to tell the man who stopped by her name, address, where she was, the date, time, her kids. In fact, the gentleman who called me back insisted that nothing was wrong with Ruth other than maybe a hip problem she was complaining about. Odd.

I still haven't received a call back from her son(s) HOWEVER, after leaving a message with his receptionist that I would be kind enough to drop Ruth off at Keith's place as she asks most every morning, Keith did extended Joy (the nurse)'s hours, which seems to help, if not simply by allowing me to have a peaceful lunch, if that doesn't seem selfish.

I've been continuing to do my part to stop by after work when I walk my dog to answer her question "where am I?" and "I haven't eaten", etc and she hasn't wondered across the street recently, so I guess that is good and is a sign of some progress from the nurse being around later in the day.

2) If you recall, my old pal George Calleia was recently found guilty of murder. George was sentenced today to 50 years. Google Alerts hit me with the Star Ledger article this afternoon:

Holmdel man gets 50 years in wife's murder
by Guy Sterling/The Star-Ledger
Friday August 08, 2008, 11:27 AM
A Holmdel man convicted of killing his
wife and leaving her body at the PNC Arts Center was sentenced to 50 years in
state prison this morning.
Superior Court Judge Paul Chaiet, sitting in
Freehold, sentenced George Calleia, 46, to the lengthy stentence after he was
convicted io killing his wife, Susan, who was 43. Friends of Susan Calleia had
testified she wanted to divorce her husband, a wealthy software salesman, but
that he tried to persuade her to stay in the marriage. She was killed the night
she planned to attend a divorce seminar in Summit.

the trial, Executive Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Richard Incremona
argued Calleia strangled and beat his wife because he could not face the end of
their 13-year marriage.
Prosecutors said Calleia took the body to the PNC
Arts center and staged the body to look like a sexual assault took place.
couple has an 11-year-old daughter.
"When the defendant killed his wife, he
did not kill one person. He killed a family and the daughter has no father or
mother because her father could not accept her mother's wishes," Incremona said
at the sentencing.
...if anyone knows what a "stentence" please advise. I'm sure the newspaper publisher and editor would have caught a typo if they meant "sentence"...

I also received a Google Alert for this GANNET entry which has some more information:

Holmdel businessman gets 50 years for wife's

FREEHOLD —A judge this morning sentenced a wealthy,
Holmdel businessman to 50 yearsin prison for murdering his wife — a crime a
prosecutor said was fueled by greed and destroyed the childhood of the couple's
young daughter.

Superior Court Judge Paul F. Chaeit imposed the prison
term on George Calleia ofTranquility Court for the 2005 murder of his wife,
Susan. The judge ordered that the46-year-old software salesman serve 85 percent
of that term, or 42 years, six months and 2 days, before he can be considered
for release on parole.Executive Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Richard
Incremona asked for the 50-year prison term, saying that George Calleia not only
killed his wife, but destroyed a family, leaving their 11-year-old daughter
motherless."When the defendant killed his wife, he didn't just kill one person,
he killed afamily," Incremona told the judge. "He killed the security and
comfort of a littlegirl. In short, he killed a childhood."It can never be made
right for her," Incremona said, explaining that the couple'sdaughter will have
to live with the fact that she witnessed her mother's murder.Defense attorney
Edward C. Bertucio said that Calleia had no prior criminal record and continues
to maintain his innocence. Calleia, displaying no emotion during the sentencing
hearing, declined to address the judge."This is a man who led an absolutely
crime-free life," Bertucio said of his client."He was by all outward appearances
a model provider, a model parent."...Mr. Calleia continues to deny the state's
version of events," said Bertucio,who asked the judge to throw out the verdict
returned by a jury on May 23.Chaiet said that although the case against Calleia
was circumstantial, it was strong, and the verdict was appropriate."What we have
is a man...who killed his wife because of the concern that she wasgoing to leave
him," Chaiet said of Calleia."He killed the beloved mother of his own child,
leaving that child motherless,"Chaiet said. "That's never going to change. You
can't replace a mother's love."A number of Susan Calleia's friends who attended
the murder trial sat tearfully tolisten to the sentence."I think he got what he
deserved," one of them, Karen Medlin of Marlboro, saidafterward."She was a
wonderful mother, and I'm glad that's what they focused on today,"Medlin said of
the victim.The partially clad body of the 43-year-old, stay-at-home mother was
discovered in the cargo compartment of her Lexus sport utility vehicle on Oct.
22, 2005, the day after George Calleia called police to report his wife was
missing. The vehicle was found parked in a remote area of the PNC Bank Arts
Center in Holmdel by police who were searching for the missing woman. The victim
had been beaten and strangled.At a three-week trial before Chaiet, Incremona
argued that the scene had been staged by George Calleia to make it appear the
crime was a random sexual attack. He argued that George Calleia killed his wife
because she wanted a divorce, and he didn't want to divide his million-dollar
home and savings with her. The couple's daughter, who witnessed her parents
fighting the last time Susan Calleia was seen alive, was 8 years old at the

Sad, but like a big kid, I didn't cry when I saw the news. I still haven't spoken to or seen George, but maybe I'll work up the courage to go visit him one of these days soon. I wish his daughter well and him well and hope that the future brings brighter days, I mean, there isn't much to say here...

Anyhow. if work slows down next week I'll get back to reading the news and blogs and posting my $.02, as well as concluding my "Running For Congress" saga.

As as a completely separate note, this weeks "Good Karma Points" were earned by saving a little boxer puppy that was running through the streets - I recognized the pup as I see her every day when I walk my puppy, so I brought her home. And I earned some additional Karma by setting up an interview for my buddy and former coworker, who was laid off a few months ago, which resulted in him getting a gig here.... but what good are Karma points.... despite the 0% financing on Corvettes right now and seemingly good karma.... I still don't have a pimp C6... maybe I should have taken some illegal campaign contribution like Amy Mallet to fund one? (HAH!)

"I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign? " - Ferris Bueller reference!

That's all for now... it's my GF's b-day this weekend so HAPPY BIRFFFFFFFDAY CELINA! I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A fun update to a previous "Running For Congress" entry!

My original long entry noting the advertisements, spam and "junk" offers I received while campaigning can now be amended as I continue to receive solicitations for services from companies which seem to exist solely based on elections.... let freedom ring....

check out the voice mail....

Interesting, I suppose... .... I'm curious what "voter data" from Nick's voice mail includes since as you might recall from another previous entry, I was concerned about just how much information is available out there on voters, for a VERY small price to identity thieves and the like. I wonder if Nick's company provides the same info I was able to abtain or additional information?

For what it's worth, I also received this email (In fact I received it twice, I guess sending it once wasn't enough?), I assume from Nick, earlier today:

Dear James P. Hogan, provides a complete online fundraising solution for political campaigns that is Fast, Easy, Compliant, and Secure.

To empower your campaign and begin raising money online today, we have set up a FREE contribution page that can easily be added to your existing website in a matter of minutes.

To immediately begin raising money for your campaign, just Click Here to activate your account.

Everything you need is ready to go:-

. Branded and Customized Contribution Page.

. Built-In Legal Disclaimers, Eligibility Requirements and Contribution Limits.

. Real-Time Donor Data Available in Secure Web-Based Database.

. Auto-Responder Thank You Email.

. Ability for People to Purchase Tickets to Your Fundraising Events.

. 128 Security Encryption to Accept all Major Credit Cards.

. Set-Up Monthly Donor Program.

If you already have a fundraising page and are satisfied with the dollars you are raising click here to deactivate our demo, but first just take a quick look at the Sample Page we have created for you.

We know that raising money can be a time consuming process during your campaign, so why don't you Activate Your Page Right Now or give me a call at 1-888-WEB-2WIN or email us at and I can show you how simple it is.

Best of luck on your campaign! We look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards

DonationPages Technical Team

P.S. Want to see all the different ways you can raise money with DonationPages?

Click here to read more.

In fact, as a bonus... I'll share this email from Nick with some username/password to the electionmall "donation page".... feel free to login as me, play around, break the site... If you want to be creative you can add events... come up with fun things "james hogan takes a bath" as an event could be worth a chuckle.... "james hogan stops being ugly" might be fun.... who knows...

Another interesting item... I wonder what happens if someone were to donate using that link? I mean, I'm no longer a candidate, I have have not collected any kind of funds/donations, I don't plan to now... say, am I headed off to jail for taking campaign contributions for a campaign that doesn't exist? and who is this "citizens for James Hogan" that gets a mention on the page?

Nick's email with the username/password follows:

Dear James P. Hogan

I just wanted to follow up and send this information one more time for your records. We would very much like to assist your campaign in rasing money online.

Your contribute page link is

Your donationpages login URL is
Choose your Access to Donationpages
password hogan2008

Best Regards,
Nick Taxia
Online Fundraising Manager

"where every day is a campaign"
202-387-VOTE (8683)

P.S. Please DO NOT contribute... :) and just in case one of you plays with that site too much, I'll state for the record, I, James P. Hogan have NEVER logged in to that website so any changes, login attempts, etc are the actions of someone else.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Today in the rest of the world....

Just in case you missed my comment on MoreMonmouthMusings, William "Not Art Gallagher" Seward's blog, I figured I'd give a quick list of somethings that the rest of the world is doing today while we in the US cry about high gas prices, who used the "n-word", if we should drill offshore, why we shouldn't replace bridges that are about to collapse, etc....

US Corporate Giant GE will be collecting $500M USD to supply equipment to power the world’s largest single site aluminium processing complex near Abu Dhabi - the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Yeah for a US company, boo for the US not having the world's largest single site aluminum processing complex, whatever that is. Read the story.

Also over in UAE, Thorium Power, a French Corporate Giant that emerged from US invented technology, entered into two new five-year agreements to provide strategic advice for planning and implementation of nuclear energy in the UAE. Great, just what we in the US have been looking for, more nuclear power in the Middle East because we don't want that nuclear power here, no way! Read the story.

Which leads me to Iran, where there is a Weekend deadline for Iran in nuclear showdown. Well it's a good thing we're on top of those other nations getting nuclear power, eh? Hrm.

While we're on the subject nuclear power, lets move on over to India, where the U.S.-India Business Council gave a 'Thumbs Up' for India Safeguards. This following a December 2006 vote by the U.S. Congress providing overwhelming bipartisan support in favor of civilian nuclear cooperation with India. I suppose it's good to see the US government working to improve India and since the US government thinks nuclear power is good for India, in another 100-150 years or so, maybe, just maybe, the US will build another nuclear powerplant here, or at least vote on it.

Just a few items in the world news today for your reading pleasure... back to the daily grind, someone needs to pay their new, higher taxes to fund those aging roads, pay for the $4/gal gasoline, the transit tunnel to NYC, for saving the fish, for building the new schools.... because its the structure that prevents learning....

Ohh, I almost forgot... Pamela Anderson is building an eco-friendly hotel in Abu Dhabi ( more ) which is strange because I just posted a picture of Pam Anderson's boobies in a blog entry last week. Strange.