Friday, October 24, 2008

Agreement to spare creek is a short-sighted repeat of history

The worst newspaper in the world ran a story earlier this week noting that the City of Long Branch has intentions to provide water treatment for Monmouth Park waste water. The article claims that the Agreement will spare creek contamination and that the City of Long Branch handling the waste water is a "long-term pollution solution often discussed by the Sports Authority and the state Department of Environmental Protection". Unfortunately, this solution has been tried already, and this solution fails.

In 1994, Monmouth Park officials reached an agreement with the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority (TRWRA) to have TRWRA accept up to 200,000 additional gallons of wastewater from Monmouth Park; this after a previous agreement in the 70s when TRWRA was built proved to be innsufficient. The 1994 agreement did not solve the problem, just as the new  agreement with Long Branch will not solve the problem.

In August of 2008, just months ago, TRWRA then agreed to treat more racetrack wastewater. How much polluted wastewater is Monmouth Park producing that the entire river is polluted even after 200,000 ADDITIONAL gallons of waterwater, on top of whatever the original agreement handled, ON TOP of the August agreement are being treated? And how much polluted water is coming from Monmouth Park that we're now supposed to believe that using the City of Long Branch's sewage treatment facilities is going to solve the problem? Based on previous actions by Monmouth Park and the NJSEA, having access to the City of Long Branch's system is not only a band-aid, but a free pass to continue polluting at an ever more dangerous level. How many total hundreds of thousands of gallons of polluted water is Monmouth Park producing?

As time has progressed, it has become more and more apparent that the owners of Monmouth Park, the NJSEA, the DEP and the State of New Jersey are incompetent and negligent.  The late August 2008 waste discharge into the creek was due to negligent worker(s) action. The property owners and the staff at Monmouth Park must be forced to develop Standard Operating Procedures that ensure the pollution stops and the SOP must be strictly adhered to by all employs of Monmouth Park, including the stable staff workers which may require a translation from English to Spanish. There are numerous other horse farms throughout New Jersey and they do not have the negative impact on the environment that Monmouth Park has had.  Clearly, Monmouth Park is not following the same SOP as other horse farms, even if they have the same documented SOP. Further, it is clear that the DEP and NJSEA, along with Corzine and other State officials simply do not care how much tax payer money is spent on Monmouth Park operations, or cleanup, and I suspect that the Casino Control Commission sees no problem with a great source of revenue polluting the environment either.

While I appreciate the efforts by Councilman Anthony Giordano of Long Branch to put an end to the pollution, I must remind those who care about the environment that similar solutions have been tried before, in the 70s, 90s, and just months ago, and those solutions have failed. This is not an acceptable, long term solution in my opinion and more must be done to ensure that Monmouth Park stops producing so much waste water. Rather than allow Monmouth Park to produce more and more waste water and simply try to process the waste and assume that the staff at Monmouth Park doesn't close the wrong valve, the DEP should be investigating the operations at Monmouth Park and ensuring that the track owners pay their fines, and do their part to stop future pollution, while also cleaning up the pollution and damage that they have already caused. There is a clear conflict of interest between the NJ DEP, Monmouth Park, the State of New Jersey, etc and it is we the tax payers and residents of New Jersey who foot the bill, and are left to deal with the pollution.

Unfortunately, our great and powerful Congressman, Mr. Frank Pallone, who loves to tell us how much he cares about the environment, has already made his biennial, election year appearance on the issue and I have little to no faith that the congressman will make any efforts to help We the People. Say congressman.... how are those dolphins doing since you made believe you cared about them too? Any more dead mammals in the river? 

Monday, October 20, 2008

APP: Pallone Not Qualified to Replace Pallone

The worst newspaper in the world today published their endorsement for An 11th term for Pallone noting that "Neither [McLeod or Tarbous] is qualified to replace Pallone". The worst paper ever also makes the claim that Pallone "has been a staunch supporter of measures to protect the environment, provide affordable health care and preserve the Shore's valuable tourism industry" as well as noting Pallone's "personal mandate that there be 'no industrial use of the ocean'" and his "opposition to the Base Realignment and Closure process at Fort Monmouth". Perhaps the APP only gets it's news from the APP?

First, let us have a look at the environment that Mr. Pallone is so great at protecting. Drinking water is unsafe. If that's not bad enough, it is unsafe to eat fish from, swim in or drink from most NJ rivers. I'd say the environment isn't doing so well. And how about those oceans that Mr. Pallone is so dedicated to protecting?  Well beach closures were up 70% last year. I don't need to remind readers of this blog that Branchport Creek in Long Branch, home to Pallone's campaign headquarters, is still polluted. So tell me Mr. APP reporter, what is so great about Pallone's environmental record because the facts and mother nature don't seem to be agreeing with your assessment.

Let us move on to "protecting the shore's tourism industry". Mr. Pallone (along with the APP) have been fighting against the use of eminent domain in Long Branch (a fight they lost - at least until the economy turned around). Perhaps Mr. Pallone isn't aware that the redevelopment in Long Branch, which wouldn't have been possible without the use of eminent domain laws, has made Long Branch NJ a new premier hot-spot on the Jersey Shore? Pallone and the APP lost, tourism for NJ won, so again I ask, what has Pallone done for tourism in this state? Nothing. He has fought against tourism.

Further, Pallone mandates "no industrial use of the ocean". Did Mr. Pallone not notice the $4/gallon price tag at the pump this summer? I'm still paying $3/gallon so while things aren't as bad today, they certainly aren't acceptable. In fact, the price drop only seems to have come after the ban on offshore drilling was allowed to expire. Again, despite even the chance to drill offshore having such a significant impact on the price of oil, Pallone continues to fight against the consumers and tax payers who shoulder the burden of higher priced oil. Pallone and the APP were once again united on the wrong side of the battle, and lost.

Finally, the APP cites Pallone's "opposition to the Base Realignment and Closure process at Fort Monmouth" which oddly enough is another lost battle for this team of do-nothings. Ft. Monmouth is closing, Maryland is getting the jobs and federal dollars and NJ tax payers are getting a billion dollar bill to redevelop Ft. Monmouth based on a re-use plan that the locals aren't happy with. Admittedly, Oceanport isn't in Pallone's district, nor is the fort itself, however it does employ thousands of people from within the district and indirectly provide jobs to thousands more. 

So it would seem to me that if the APP is looking for someone who cares about the environment, cares about the oceans, cares about NJ toursim, and cares about Ft. Monmouth, they have endorsed the wrong guy. Pallone does not care about the taxpayers of New Jersey. He isn't getting the job done and NJ voters should review the Project Vote Smart responses from both Mr. McLeod and Mr. Tarbous as both of these men are far more concerned about the state of New Jersey and the state of the Union in general than Mr. Pallone. More importantly,  it has become increasingly evident year after year that Pallone is not effective in getting the job done. Pallone is not respected by his counterparts in DC. Pallone is not respected by his counterparts in Trenton. And Pallone is not respected by his constituents in the sixth district. Pallone speaks and no-one listens, other than the APP reporters who wants We the People to believe that despite losing every battle he has ever faced, Pallone is somehow getting the job done. There is good reason that the APP is the worst newspaper in the world, and their endorsement for the worst congressman in the world is telling.

I suppose it could be worse though... New Jersey tax payers could be getting the lowest return on that tax dollar than any other state, year after year... ohh.... that's right.... cut some taxes Frank.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Year Later: Pallone Just Can't Get the Job Done

It's relatively easy to blast Mr. Pallone for all of the things he has not done in his twenty year career. We could blast Frank for failing to address the illegal immigration problem in our nation, particularly in New Jersey, even in his own home town of Long Branch. We could blast Frank for failing to address our monetary policy and supporting multiple tax payer bailouts of large corporations. We could blast Frank on his position on offshore-drilling, offshore wind farms and other alternative energy plans that would have helped avoid the $4/gal gasoline we were buying all summer long. 

Today, however, let us consider something Frank HAS done. On November 19, 2007, Frank Pallone Jr. URGES NJ SPORTS & EXPOSITION AUTHORITY TO MEET WITH ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS ON MONMOUTH PARK CLEANUP PLANS. Today is October 17th, 2008 and while some meetings have taken place and a dog and pony show has gone on for another summer on the Jersey Shore, the Congressman's letter has gone largely ignored.
Recently, NJSEA sought proposals for solutions to the pollution problem and the costs. Under a Request for Proposals (RFP) engineering companies were to design and provide cost estimates of potential solutions to the problem.  Pallone would like environmental groups and concerned citizens to have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the problem and potential solutions. 
We the citizens voiced our opinions, because we were asked to voice our opinions and we offered many potential solutions. Without a Congressman who cares about We the People, and without a Congressman who is respected by his counterparts at the state and federal level, our opinions and solutions have fallen on deaf ears and another profitable summer for Monmouth Park has come and gone at the expense of a polluted river.

Are those lovable dolphins doomed now that Pallone has stepped in? Probably. The Branchport Creek feeds into the Shrewsbury River, maybe it's Monmouth Park's fault that two of those dolphins Frank cares so much about are dead?
Pallone is concerned that as the water gets colder and food grows scarce, the dolphins will be endangered.  The water temperature in the rivers has already fallen to 65 degrees, only seven degrees higher than conditions that become dangerous for dolphins.  
What about us wacky ol' humans Frank? (the ones who have to vote in a few weeks and whose tax money you give away to the same banks that charge us 25% interest on credit cards, in addition to late fees and then give each other multi-million dollar bonuses) Are you concerned that as the water becomes more polluted, the humans will be endangered? The fecal coliform level has already risen to the thousands, higher than the conditions that are safe for any living organism.Where is Mr. Environment to save the day? Is he in Javakhk? Armenia? India? Or is he busy with more important issues like watching Fort Monmouth close? Or providing federal dollars to replenish the beaches in Long Branch, which has already charge to access mother nature and is raking in plenty of money doing so?

Of course, I'm sure Frank will pretend that his recent Used Car Salesman pitch in Oceanport shows how much he cares. To borrow a term Art Gallagher has been using a lot lately, HOGWASH. It was September 4, 2008 when Pallone slams racetrack for creek pollution and there has been no action since. The fine is still unpaid. The river is still polluted. Citizens are still in danger (as per the signs). No one in Trenton respects Frank and no one in Trenton is going to make an effort to resolve the problem because Frank told them so. Worse yet, no one in Washington respects Frank and no one in Washington is going to help us citizens resolve this problem.

You have two other choices for US Congress in NJ-D6 this November: Robert McLeod and Herbert Tarbous. Have a look at their Project Vote Smart responses and decide which is better, certainly the best choice is NOT Frank Pallone.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who cares about Joe The Plumber, Obama is a Socialist!

Seems like the media wants us to know that Joe the Plumber isn't a plumber at all and seems to be implying the man is, or was, a McCain plant.  Who cares. It's Barack Hussein Obama's reply to an honest question that is troubling.

"It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too," Obama responded. "My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." 

I suppose that I'm not part of this "everybody" that Mr. Obama speaks of because it's generally not good for me to have my wealth, which I work 8-6 for (say, what ever happened to 9-5??) spread around.  I like to have my wealth "invested" in things like cars, houses, new shoes, healthy food and expensive haircuts at SuperCuts. Mr Obama's plan is Socialism which I guess works according to some people.  I'm not saying McCain is any better, he hasn't proved that to me, yet, but I do know for sure that I won't be voting for socialism this November. Of course, Mr. Obama earned close to $2 million a year (hrm) ... if he's willing to cut me a fat check to spread some of his own wealth around, I might start to like his plan a little more... hypocrisy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

China made Chocolate?

It seems that CNN is reporting that China will soon be making those delicious Hershey chocolates we love and enjoy.  I could be mistaken, but I believe I recently read about a China dairy issue imagine that, isn't chocolate something like a dairy product? huh.

High unemployment levels, an unstable stock market, nationalization of our banks, bailouts...  F-ing DOOMED.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.... stop with the handouts in this country. Enough of the bailouts. Enough of the Farm Tax Subsidies. Is your bank failing, good, beat it, let the banks that have better management fight and work to survive. Are you a farmer with a poor family? Find some people on the unemployment line to work on your farm.  I've driven many miles around this once great nation and there are thousands upon thousands of miles of unused farm land along the roads I've driven. It's time to put that land to good use, put people to work and make them work. 

Enough handouts already. Don't have healthcare, get a job that offers heathcare. Don't have a job that offers healthcare, negotiate with your employer or find a better job. I'm tired of people thinking they are entitled to everything anyone else has. We're all created equal, it's up to you, and you alone, to get ahead in life from there. In the meantime, I urge you to check the "country of origin" on not just the toys you purchase this holiday season, but the food you purchase as well. Sad.

As a side note, the Branchport Creek over here in Long Branch is still polluted. It's been polluted for 2 years and a few months with no solution in sight and a congressman, Frank Pallone, who made a great speech about the problem (after 2 years of silence) and then disappeared again. Can we outsource horse racing to China, they don't seem to mind pollution over there and I'm sure they'd find a place to store that horse manure... like in a Hershey's Chocolate bar. Gross.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A note while we go through this "economic crisis" with Christmas approaching...

While we Americans are apparently unemployed and unable to afford our own homes (if you listen to the talking heads on the TV),  I'd like to remind my readers that China made toys are still a serious problem as noted recently here and here and as you shop this coming holiday season, please check the origin of products that you may purchase as there is a systemic problem with China made products that has gone unresolved for several years.

Further, following the latest China milk problem, I'd also urge my readers to ensure that food products you purchase for your family, including your pets, are also not made in China.

Oddly enough, some people might argue that buying American made products would help put Americans back to work, imagine that.... other mights claim things like "free trade" or "free markets", fair enough, I'll claim "free from lead" or "free from melamine" is more important.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Challenge for Mr. Larry Flynt

It seems that my pal Larry Flynt has filmed an adult movie about Sarah Palin using a look a like. Good for Larry, not just a champion of free speech - but a ballsy fella'.

So here is my challenge to Mr. Flynt, because we all know I love to issue a challenge as if I'm a someone. I challenge you, sir, to film an adult movie about Mr. Barack Hussein Obama which implies that Mr. Obama is a homosexual and depicts Mr. Obama with other men. I have no reason to think that such a depiction would be at all accurate, however, I'd love to see how the Democratic party/Obama handles the issue since it is clear that Obama is against free speech as Obama has already demonstrated that he is against free speech in his remarks about Don Imus

Seeing as Obama supports so many gay rights (many of which I agree with him on, so no slams here from me) - I say lets see how Obama handles a Flynt depiction of a gay Obama - or how he handles free speech and the gay issue. Somehow, I don't think that the response from Mr. Obama would be a positive one, and just as Obama blasted Imus, I suspect Obama would blast Mr. Flynt.

P.S. - I did not watch the debate last night. My opinion, and it's just my opinion, is that these types of televised debates are pointless for any real information for voters. They simply give the media outlets and bloggers sound bites and clips to take out of context and pick apart. Not to mention that there is no instant fact check to alert viewers that the BS one of the candidates just spewed is completely inaccurate. For example, Biden could say that McCain voted to have babies thrown from airplanes during the debate and there is no instant notification that said line was at all factual. Whatever. I know that Biden's 30+ year voting record sucks. I know that McCain's 30+ year voting record sucks. I know that Obama claims change but his positions are the same tired old positions that the D party has been pushing for decades. I have no idea what the hell Sarah Palin is trying to say, ever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

9 Reasons to vote against this bailout deal

This was forwarded to me in an email. The author's name appears to be "Force John McCain to drop out". The reasons seem reasonable.
1. It repeats the same mistakes made in the early 1930's by bailing out bad investments at the taxpayers expense and increasing regulations which strangle the economy and cause job losses.

2. It prevents the market from correcting itself.  The easy credit issued by the Fed in the 1990's and early 2000's caused a massive amount of "malinvestment", which means people and businesses borrowed money to take risks they otherwise wouldn't have taken.  All this bad debt needs to liquidate itself one way or another.  The more money that is thrown at the problem, the more band-aids that are used, the longer the artificial credit phase will last and the harder it will crash down.  A somewhat severe recession is inevitable (the bad debt has to go away and prices, even houses, have to fall).  The only option is this: do we want a 12-18 month recession (which will still be painful), or do we want a 10-20 year depression (which will be devastating).  The choice is ours.

3. Hyperinflation IS a real possibility here in America  We all remember the famous pictures of the Germans using wheelbarrows full of Marks to buy a loaf of bread or even to burn it to heat the homes.  We are toeing a dangerous line, and the Fed is quickly losing control of the situation.  Just this week, the Fed injected over $600 billion of newly created money into the markets (this is in addition to the bailouts or takeovers of Bear Stearns, Fannie & Freddie, AIG, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, etc.  It is also has nothing to do with the $700B bill in congress).

4. Here are the list of supporters: George W. Bush, the Federal Reserve, CEO's of the biggest companies in the world, the political establishment,. the mass media, and foreign central banks.

5. Here are a list of non-supporters: 60-99% of the American people, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, non-voters, etc.

6. Look at Obama's and McCain's top donor list. Some common names should sound familiar: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Lehman's Brothers, Morgan Stanley, UBS.  Where to their loyalties lie?

7. The bailout gives unprecedented new powers to the executive branch of our federal government.  All versions of the bill that I've seen have contained some variation on the following text: "Decisions by the Secretary [of Treasury] pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." If that is not pure dictatorship, I don't know what is.

8. The very people who say we need this bill NOW, as recently as a few weeks ago, were telling us the economy was strong and everthing would be fine.  At what point do the people who cause the problem, then lie to us, lose all credibility?

9. The Patriot Act was implemented under similar circumstances.

I insist that you vote "NO!" on this bailout deal.
I suppose one thing I will also note is this:  We were lead to believe that this "EMERGENCY" legislation HAD to be passed a week ago... Obviously it has been delayed a week and as far as I know, things haven't changed too much in the past week - no worse, no better. Sure the market has been unstable, it's not supposed to be stable.... I just don't understand why the need to rush some legislation through rather than have some smart people try to figure out the best long term solution.

As a second FWIW - as I was writing my mortgage payment check last night, I remembered that it was the bank (Bank of New York, then Everhome(?), then Chase) who INSISTED that I could afford a much more expensive home by taking advantage of their GREAT products. The banks suck for lack of a better word, but I was smart enough to see through their BS and make a sound financial decision. For the people who made bad decisions and bought into the garbage that the banks were pushing, sucks for you and sorry, but well, it's not *MY* fault you can't pay a loan which you never were able to afford in the first place and *I* don't want, nor is it in *MY* budget, to bail you or your sucky bank out, sorry.