Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's *ONLY* $85 Million

Rising tensions in the Middle East, or at least in Israel, have "The US" (I guess that means the whole thing, all of us in unison as one) giving $85 Million to Palestinians. Not that I was or am for a bailout of the banks, or the auto industry, but then I'd much rather have seen an extra $85 Million go there instead of to a nation of Palestinian people who celebrated in the streets on 9/11. (videos)

And please, don't take this blog entry to mean that I would give a dime to Israel either; it is US Taxpayer money and it belongs to the US taxpayers, not to any foreign country.  If the UN wants to run a few TV ads orhost a Telethon to raise a few bills for their cause, I'm sure Rupert Murdoch would be happy to sell them some airtime on one of his awful stations.

For now, please consider how $85 million might:

1) Get that new railroad tunnel from NJ to NY built under the Hudson

2) Get those Parkway & Turnpike tolls back to $0.25

3) Get that sales tax back to 6% from 7%

4) Pay to cleanup the Branchport Creek that Monmouth Park continues to pollute

5) Pay to provide flood protection in the Bayshore area rendering FEMA's new flood maps obsolete and saving home owners MILLIONS in insurance costs

6) Help those poor dolphins (... find their way to a fishery near you! Whatever, stupid mammals)

And these are just a few thoughts off of the top of my head.

At a time when unemployment rates are so high and NJ's unemployment fund is approaching broke I'd have to think that "The US" (yes, all of it) has it's own problems and isn't in a position to hand money out, nor are We the People in a position to have our money handed out either by the Federal or State governments.  

And where is Frank Pallone writing a letter opposing this aid? I mean, surely Palestine is at least as much a "failed state" as Pakistan is, right? Here is a chance for Pallone to get something right - lets watch him fail, again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone gets all of the goodies they've always wanted this year. I assure you, like it or not, my blog will still be here after the holiday so remember to put the computer away and enjoy some time with your family instead of hugging the keyboard. 

For those with offspring - http://portablenorthpole.sympatico.msn.ca/home offers a "make your own Santa video for the kids" thing. Kind of cool.

..now if only I could leave work early today....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just a Reminder - .50 cals are still being targetted by the Dems

With the news of the conviction of these fellas in their Ft. Dix plot fresh in the news, I feel the need to remind everyone that NJ Dems are still trying to impede upon our most basic of Constitutional Rights by banning .50 cal weapons. I've blogged about this bill in the past and offered by $0.02 then, but as a reminder, this bill targets the wrong weapons and the wrong people. It is not the .50 weapon that is the problem, it is the criminals who are the problem. I still can't seem to find a case of a common criminal, or even a terrorist, using a .50 cal to commit a crime. In fact, if the "Betlway Sniper" terrorists from a few years back weren't using a .50 cal "sniper rifle" - they were using a cheap .223 and killed plenty of people and caused plenty of "terror". Again, it is NOT the .50 cal that is the problem, it is the criminal mind and We the People should not allow the government to take away more of our right in the name of "safety" when the legislation isn't going to make us any safer.

So, with Christmas just two days away, I'll let everyone know that a .50 cal Desert Eagle or a S&W 500 are highup on my Christmas Wish List.  If anyone wants to give me one as a gift for Christmas, please shoot (no pun intended) me an email and we can figure out the paperwork.

Also, as a note to parents out there who might have bought a paintball gun for their offspring this season, they fire a  > .50 cal projectile and seem to be covered by this bill. Kind of silly don't you think?

Less government, more gooder. This weapons ban might seem harmless, or even "good" depending on your philosophy, but it will just lead to an even bigger, more expensive government. Bigger, more expensive jails for people who just want to exercise their rights. A bigger black market for guns. And worst of all, as I've said, the criminals aren't the ones buying and firing .50 cal weapons anyhow.

P.S. - I'm serious - if anyone happens to have a Desert Eagle or a S&W 500 they want to donate to me or sell me cheap as a Christmas gift, please do email me.... 

Friday, December 19, 2008

We're all getting $126.09 back AND MORE!

Sadly, we the tax payers have been robbed once again as the White House gave automakers $17.4BILLION in "loans".  Based on IRS data, there are about 138 MILLION tax payers in the United States, which means each of us gave The Big 3 about $126 of our money. 

Now, the way I see it, this isn't necessarily so bad and here is why.  Anytime *I* have taken a "loan", I pay interest on the amount of the loan AND I have to pay the loan back in a reasonably short period of time. The longest loan I have is that 30yr loan on my house.  Now, I haven't seen the details of this "loan" that the White House gave The Big 3, but I'd like to think that The Big 3 will be expected to pay back this loan just like you and I pay back our loans AND I suspect that they'll be paying interest on those loans just as you and I do.  I also suspect that if The Big 3 miss a payment, those Credit Collectors will start with their annoying and abusive telephone calls and threaten taking everything from taking the toilet paper at The Big 3 to the whole factory.

So I'll be waiting patiently for my checks to start rolling in any time now... figure a $17.4 BILLION "loan" at even 7% over 30 years and that first payment of about $115,762,634.16 includes about $101,500,000 in interest alone which means over us 138 million tax payers, we'll each be getting about $1.57 (principal and interest) checks in the mail the first month and these checks will just keep rolling in for the next 30 years! I'm super excited to hear that my elected government was able to negotiate this great deal for me!

I mean, of course, unless there is a flaw somewhere in my logic or I'm missing something that is... Putting it as politely as I can.... Assholes.  I REALLY was considering a Corvette, but now I've decided to go buy a foreign car instead.

A Memorable Quote from Frank Pallone

Found this one from WAY back in the year 2006....

"We shouldn't be robbing Peter to pay Paul here, and that's essentially what's happening," said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. [source]

That was Frank's statement on a bill regarding spending for AIDS drugs and care that would have taken money from larger states and dumped that money into smaller (southern) states.

How is it that this same guy, this same Frank Pallone, who got it right on "robbing Peter to pay Paul" then went on to vote to support the $700B bailout of banks? Then Pallone went on to support another bailout, this time of the auto industry.

How is it that Frank just can't seem to get it right? Isn't he against "robbing Peter to pay Paul"? Isn't Frank voting to rob us tax payers to pay the banks and/or automakers now? 

Hey, I just realized something, for anyone left wondering... I'm James P. Hogan. My middle name is Paul, really it is - no BS. Now if only I could find a guy named Peter at a bank or auto maker and I'd be set!

In fairness, I will say, Frank Pallone sort of kind of got something right! True story. Frank seems to be looking to stop some foreign aid that the US is sending to Pakistan. I think Frank and I actually agree that sending foreign aid to Pakistan is a bad idea - problem is, I suspect that if Frank has his way, that $15 BILLION in question won't get paid back to tax payers - it'll just get sent to some other county, probably India, but maybe Javakhk, or Armenia

Foreign aid stinks. When I want to voluntarily send my money overseas, I'll look up some charity and send my money on over... or I'll just shop at Wal-Mart.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Your next Car?

Put this way, I probably could have purchased that Corvette I've always wanted instead of giving my tax money to GM and not even having the vette to show for it.  Sad.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Gifted" is the Next Discriminatory Word?

According to a Washington Post story, Montgomery [Schools are] Erasing Gifted Label. The article suggests that the "gifted" program is to be cut because "Montgomery education leaders have decided that the practice is arbitrary and unfair". Further, the article makes the claim that "White and Asian American students are twice as likely as blacks and Hispanics to be identified as gifted." The article even goes on to say "The gifted label is a hot potato in public education. A school that tells some students they have gifts risks dashing the academic dreams of everyone else." And the article concludes with "Teachers and principals say the gifted label has become obsolete".

Talk about political correctness gone wrong!

I'll go out on a limb here and offer this comparison...
Basketball teams should stop having an "All-Star" game because *I* have decided that the practice of choosing "All-Stars" is arbitrary and unfair.

Further, the label "All-Star" should be dropped because blacks and Hispanics tend to be identified as All-Stars twice as often as Whites or Asians.

And while I'm at it, the term "All-Star" should be dropped because it's the team telling some players that have athletic ability dashing the NBA dreams of everyone else.

James P. Hogan says the term "All-Star" has become obsolete.

This is ludicrous. How the hell did we, as a society, get here? Where are the parents with brains shouting about the idiocy that governs our school system? Where are the teachers or administrators with some balls who should be standing up and exclaiming that indeed, some students are smarter and more able and willing to learn than others.

Of course, then you come across dopey parents like this one who complain that their kid should be gifted and isn't because sometimes the kid can't pass the entrance exam but otherwise is smart. Again, let me compare with my sports example...

My kid didn't make the "All-Star" team because during real games he's constantly turning the ball over, missing shots and fouling the other team... but he shows up to every practice where he makes every half court 3 point shot, steals the ball from every other kid, never double dribbles and even runs eight times faster than the other players! He's an "All-Star" because when it doesn't count, his skills shine.

It's a sad state of affairs we are in here in the Good Ol' USA. Our education system is failing and the "gifted" programs that would propel a few students into the upper echelon of education are in danger of being scrapped in the name of equality, "for the children" of course.

Should Harvard have the same requirements as Brookdale? Should the label "Ivy League" be dropped because students at other universities will feel inferior? This is unacceptable, and every parent should be outraged that there are elected officials who would end programs that advance the students who are willing and prepared to learn at an accelerated pace so that the "feelings" of some other students, or more likely their parents, aren't hurt. Too bad; and as the kids say "Man up".

Doomed. We're f-ing doomed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Screw the N-word - Debate this story...

Melissa Gaffney's blog today reminds us that there is a Middletown HRC Meeting tonight to rehash the same tired old, boring subject of "the n-word".  In the meantime, how do you feel about this Holland Township family angry that supermarket won't personalize cake for their son?

It seems that Heath and Deborah Campbell decided that of all of the names in the baby book, the names best fitting for their offspring were JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell and Adolf Hitler Campbell. I think the sadest part of the story is right below the second picture "Young Adolf Hitler Campbell will be getting a cake from Wal-Mart this year."

Should ShopRight, a private corporation be allowed to refuse (discriminate) against these people based on the name of a child? Should parents be allowed to name their kids any way they see fit? Does Wal-Mart make their cakes in China with toxic lead and poisonous milk?

Monday, December 15, 2008

We Can’t Let This Bank Fail

"Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them."  - Ronald Reagan

That is why we can't rely on a government bailout of the Food Bank of New Jersey. The pantry is empty, there is nothing to be rearranged. You can help fill the food bank that provides families here in Jersey with food this holiday season and all year long by: 

1) Make a monetary contribution:
Visit http://www.njfoodbank.org/.

2) Donate food:
Drop off a bag of food at your local food pantry.

3) Organize a food drive: 
We can help explain the logistics of starting a food drive. Just call 908-355-FOOD.

4) Help "Check Out Hunger:"
Look for the "Check Out Hunger" coupons at your local supermarket and donate. No donation is too small!

Join me and over 100 other NJ bloggers in bailing out the food bank:
Participating Bloggers for “We Can’t Let This Bank Fail” campaign
2) RedBankGreen.com
3) Jersey Girl Cooks
Simply Sable
5) John and Lisa are eating in South Jersey
6) Padma's Kitchen
7) Chefdruck
8) Life Lightly Salted
9) My Italian Grandmother
10) Cook Appeal
11) Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars
12) Mommy Vents
13) This Full House
14) Paper Bridges
15) Motherhood Avenue
16) The Kamienski Chronicles
Down the Shore with Jen 
18) Fits and Giggles
19) House Hubbies Home Cooking
20) Nourish Ourselves
21) Partybluprints.com
22) Tommyeats.com 
23) Off the broiler 
24) Mrs. Mo’s New Jersey Baby 
25) IamNotaChef.com
27) HistoryGeek.com
28) Savy Source Newark
29) Momlogic New Jersey
31) SurvivingNJ.blogspot.com
32) JerseyGirlGuide.com 
33) Best of Roxy
34) Citizen Mom.net
35) Lynetteradio.com
36) Jersey Beat 
37) Pop Vulture Phil
38) JerseySmarts.com
39) LongBeachIslandSummers.com
40) WildwoodSummers.com
Mike Halfacres Blog 
42) Somerset08873
Family, Friends and Food
44) KateSpot.com
45) NewJerseyMomsBlog.com
46) JCRigister.com
47) New Jersey Real Estate Report
48) Riverviewobserver.com
49) More Monmouth Musings
50) Man of Infirmity
51) Another Delco Guy in South Jersey
52) SweetNicks.com
53) Average Noone
54) Cleary’s Notebook
55) Welcome to my Planet
56) The Center of New Jersey Life
57) Sharon’s Food Blog
58) Morristown, Chatham, Summit, and Madison NJ Real Estate
59) Midtown Direct Real Estate News
60) New Jersey Real Estate 
61) BlowUpRadio.com
62) LazlosDen.com
63) The Ridgewood Blog
64) Book a Week with Jen
65) Banannie
66) Cartoongoddess.com
67) Matawan Advocate
68) Take Back the Kitchen
69) The Joy of Toast
70) Route 55
71) Montclair Kids.com
72) SaveJersey
73) Stompbox
74) Joe the Blogger
75) Environmental Republican
76) Stacey Snacks
77) Subversive Garden
78) New Jersey Pathfinder
79) Cooking With Friends Blog
80) Triple Venti
81) Read All About It
82) Rich Lee on Media
83) Likelihood of Success
84) Cape Cuisine
85) The Business At Hand
86) NewJerseyTaxRevolution
87) Figmentations
88) MiddletownMike
89) Caviar and Codfish
90) A Day in the Life
91) Mack’s Journey Through Life
92) Alice’s Restaurant
93) Tiger Hawk
94)Politics Patrol, The Bob Ingle Blog
95) The Food Chain
96) Henson’s Hell
97) Cranbury Conservative
98) Baristanet
99) New Jersey: Politics Unusual
100) Jersey Shore Blog
101) Plainfield Today
102) Beacon Bulletin
103) Journal Square Jersey City 07306
Blogging Chris
105) One Aimless Writer
106) Sidewalk Politics

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Breaking News! Tree Branch down on McClellan St in Long Branch!

Last time I "live blogged" a non-event, I saw traffic increase 130% so I'll try again!

There is a HUGE tree branch down in front of my house on McClellan St here in Long Branch. I called the Long Branch PD non-emergency number to report the down branch and a member of the LB West End Fire Department was in front of my house within minutes. These guys are good.

The branch knocked down what appears to be a phone line (probably to my neighbor's house as my lines are all working) and is leaning against the power lines. GPU is on their way.

Edit 11:42PM: West End Engine Co just left to respond to another emergency. I'll guard the 'hood from falling power lines and tree branches until GPU arrives. FYI - the tree that the branch fell from is on my neighbor's property and looked to be a healthy tree. My puppy chases squirrels up this tree every day.

Edit 11:49PM: GPU has arrived to save us from this disaster. Probably a boring task after Tuesday's drama. Quick response time from the PD/FD/GPU. I'm impressed. I suppose these are the things we pay high property taxes for?

Edit 12:01AM: The GPU Man has removed the branch from the wires! From the bucket truck, he carefully maneuvered the branch free of the wires and dropped it across my driveway, splittering the tree branch to pieces. He is currently inspecting the wires.

Edit 12:13AM: The Man is still just playing with the wires.  I'd call a GPU spokesperson for a comment by they would probably say "we have real issues to deal with, stop bothering us." Also, NJT Trains are running on time despite the down branch in front of my house, *blocks* away from the tracks. :-)

Edit 12:18AM: The Police Man has left along with the GPU Man. Aside from a giant tree branch laying at the bottom of my driveway/on the sidewalk, no damage done. I'll get up early when there is some light and clean up the sidewalk so that it is safe for any pedestrians who travel to my street to see where this incident took place. Great work LBPD/LBFD/GPU  and thanks for keeping *MY* 'hood safe! I'm happy to say that during this crisis, no OMG ZOMBIES!!!, Ninjas or Pirates were spotted or needed to be eliminated although I remained vigilant and prepared at all times. Until next time, stay safe and Be Prepared.

Auto Bailout Dead! No New Bill needed...

The NY Times is reporting that our Senate Republicans came through on preventing the auto bailout. According to the story:
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, challenged Republican senators earlier Thursday to propose an alternative to the measure approved by the House and to allow swift votes on the competing plans. Mr. McConnell answered that challenge a short while later, saying the Republicans would oppose the White House plan.

Note to Mr. Reid: Just because a bill fails to pass, doesn't mean that the people must want another bill instead. Sometimes, most times I would bet, when a bill doesn't make it, it would be best if the issue was just dropped and you guys moved on to other work... like maybe you can walk to the other side of the building and ask Frank what he has done about that polluted Branchport Creek, or those FEMA flood maps, or Fort Monmouth, or "promoting tourism" or any of the other claims he makes and never comes through on... thanks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GM Bailout / Conflict of Interest?

Tommy De Seno, who ALWAYS has a blog full of great entries, recently had posted an entry titled Shhhh! Don’t Wake the Justice Department Anti-Trust Guys While We Bail Out These Companies in which he questions where the Justice Department/Anti-Trust unit is on the bailout.

Further from Tommy's quality research and writing, comes my $0.02.

The Investor Information website for GM lists one Erskine Bowles as a member of the board of directors. Interesting. Ever wonder who these people are? I do... and off to Mr. Bowles Wikipedia entry to start.
In 1992, he became more involved in politics as a fundraiser for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. President Clinton appointed Bowles to head the Small Business Administration in 1993. From October 1994 to December 1995, Bowles served as Clinton's deputy White House chief of staff, in the first-term of the Clinton Administration.

Small Business eh? That must be GM. And I'm sure the guy on the Board of Director's doesn't have some inside connections at the White House/Congress these days.
In 1997–98 he served as White House Chief of Staff and he also ran unsuccessfully for a North Carolina United States Senate seat in 2002 and 2004.

There's something in here, I just am too lazy to go find out what...
The final month of the Senate campaign saw both [of Bowles' opponents] campaigns turn strongly negative, with Burr's campaign attacking Bowles's associations with the Clinton administration, while Bowles's campaign attacked Burr on his support of trade legislation and special interest donations.

Anyone from NC happen to have those ads/sources handy?

Now here comes the more interesting one!
This Bowles guy is on the board of directors at Morgan Stanley. The same Morgan Stanley that needed a bailout from China.

Now I'm SURE that Mr. Bowles is not the sole reason that both GM and Morgan Stanley BOTH need a bailout, but surely, there is something to be said about the connections that this guy, among others, has with our elected officials. It is equally interesting that the same player seems to be involved in the failure of TWO giant, "American" companies AND their government bailouts.

I wish someone with better reporting and investigative skills than me would have a look at all of the Big 3 board members and their political connections, as well as their connections to other failing companies. Could be interesting.

In the meantime, there is certainly a conflict of interest here and if not for all of the good reasons that Tommy points out in his blog, I'd sure hope that Congress votes NO on the auto bailout and someone has a look into the dealings of these people.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NJ 5:30 Blackout?

Should I go into survival mode? Anyone else experiencing a full blown backout in the central NJ area? Seems to be from Eatontown to Long Branch at least. We're on backup generators here.... My BOB is in the car and I'm prepared. Stay warm, or find me, I can make fire. Whooo magic. :-)

I'll hang out here with the generators for now.

Widespread power outage hits Monmouth, Ocean counties
by The Star-Ledger Continuous New Desk
Tuesday December 09, 2008, 5:59 PM

A power outage has knocked out power to almost all of Monmouth County, according to a spokesman for the utility company that serves the area.

Customers have also lost service in several Ocean County towns including Lakewood, Toms River and Barnegat, according to the website for Jersey Central Power & Light.

"Calls are coming in like crazy," said Peter Johner, a spokesman for the utility company.

So far the outage has affected thousands of customers and shut down traffic lights on major roads including Route 36, just in time for rush hour.

Johner said JCP&L is currently trying to determine the cause of the problem, but said the scope of the outage suggests the problem is with the transmission and not distribution.

Further details about the extent of the outage were not immediately available.

Hazlet police encouraged drivers who would normally take Route 36 to use local roads, and said additional officers have been dispatched to monitor traffic.
Now might be a good time to reflect on your dependance upon "the system" and the items you may or may not want to have around if/when SHTF (Shit Hits the Fan) and/or TEOTWAWKI(The End of The World As We Know It) comes along. Some cold weather gear, a flashlight, some fire making tools, a hunting tool, a reliable multitool, a form of shelter and some food and water, at least enough for a few days, would be a worthy investment IMO.  I was a boy scout once, Be Prepared... Hope none of you said "ahh I'll fill the car with gas on the way home" and are now sitting at the gas station, freezing, while waiting for the power that operates the pumps to come back on... stay safe... and warm.

Edit 6:10PM: I'm really bored... but now I'm wondering DOES THE WORST NEWSPAPER EVER LACK A BACKUP POWER GENERATOR??? It's been at least 35 minutes since the blackout started and the APP website still has no news or information. I do hope they tell us tomorrow what the problems are today... 

Edit 6:13PM: Hey, just in case you're wondering...North Jersey Coast Line train #3270, the 5:38pm departure from Long Branch is operating 25 minutes late due to Overhead Electric Problem.  At least NJT is on top of the problems... maybe they should start a newspaper?

Edit 6:14PM: Rumor has it that in emergency situations, people panic and do things like talk to themselves... does posting my stupid blog count? I thought I was better than that. I'm think I'm just having fun. FYI - 6:15 now and still nothing from the APP.

Edit 6:31PM: Hrm, still lacking good information. FWIW - since I walk my dog late at night, one thing that I do very often is report street light outages in my area. I've probably reported over 30 lights out in the last few years but I don't keep track. I think it helps keep our streets a little safer for pedestrians and drivers alike and I urge all of my readers to take a few seconds to write down the pole# and report street light outages when you spot them. FirstEnergy has a simply online form to report outages and their customer service has always been GREAT and gets the lights fixed within 2-3 days of when I report the outage. Maybe I should report this outage?

Edit 6:36: The APP is full of it. They have a story up, finally, and the time claims to be 6:00. I assure you, it was NOT there at 6:00 and appeared between my 6:31 update and now. JCP&L is claiming 45 minutes... generator still has plenty of fuel, I'm not worried. I have lights...

Edit 6:44PM: Power is back on in Long Branch... that was exciting....

Lisa Jackson Should NOT Run the EPA!

Remember when I questioned Lisa Jackson for EPA and said she wasn't qualified? Well, if not, then via link from Alyssa Passeggio's blog here is Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility's reasons why Lisa Jackson for EPA is a bad move.

To highlight their reasons:
  • Cases in which public health was endangered due to DEP malfeasance, including one case involving a day-care center in a former thermometer factory in which DEP failed to warn parents or workers for months about mercury contamination;
  • Rising levels of water pollution, contamination of drinking water supplies and poisoning of wildlife with no cogent state response; and
  • The state hazardous waste clean-up program under Ms. Jackson was so mismanaged that the Bush EPA had to step in and assume control of several Superfund sites.
  • nvoking “executive privilege” to block a request filed by PEER under the state Open Public Records Act for a copy of her schedule and sign-in logs;
  • Pushing to privatize pollution control through outsourcing of toxic clean-ups to industry;
  • Abolishing the DEP Division of Science & Research after it produced damning reports on continuing contamination following state-supervised clean-ups.
  • DEP failed to meet its first major statutory milestone in implementing the emission reduction goals of the highly touted Global Warming Response Act. A June 30th legal deadline for producing a plan identifying the legislative and regulatory “measures necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” still has not been met. At the same time, Ms. Jackson supported and Gov. Jon Corzine signed “The Permit Extension Act” which exempts thousands of projects from any new energy conservation, efficiency or requirements for solar heating or renewable energy;
  • New Jersey missed the historic first auction of greenhouse gas pollution allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, this September because DEP was unable to adopt regulations to implement the pollution trading program that underpinned the auction; and
  • Jackson proposed a cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that will do little to combat global warming because it sets emissions caps above current levels and contains numerous complex offsets and loopholes that undercut its effectiveness.
If I may borrow a line from OutKask "I'm sorry Ms. Jackson....OOOH...I am for real". 

You're of course encouraged to have a look at the Water Pollution from Monmouth Park which Lisa Jackson has ignored for the past several years or have a look at Oceanport Meeting Minutes from 2006 to see just how long Lisa Jackson has been failing at her job. And of course, Frank "Mr. Environment" Pallone made his speech in Oceanport over the summer but since then Mr. Frank Pallone has been no where to be found on the issue either. So much for him caring about the environment. 

True story, in a day dream I had once, I asked Frank Pallone, "Do you have any intentions of addressing pollution in the Branchport Creek due to Monmouth Park?"

In response, Frank Pallone said "I am a do-nothing politician. I don't care about the environment or the people, so why should I work for either".  

It's almost as if my day dream was based on real life!

Congress Should Question the GM False Advertising

While the CEO of GM is visiting Congress begging for *OUR* tax money, perhaps congress can ask the CEO of GM why his "GM Card" claims:

A GM reward card can turn everyday spending into everyday driving.
That's because purchases made with a GM reward card can help you earn toward the lease or purchase of a brand new GM vehicle. And with
over 50 eligible, new GM vehicles to choose from, you're sure to hit the road in the one that's right for you.

Yet when I view cars that are eligible for a "reward", there are *4*. Is it false advertising or just dishonest? 

If Congress makes the mistake of giving these liars our tax money, will card holders like me who have earned "rewards", based on GM's adverting and our spending, be given back to us at least? I sure would love to help GM out and go buy one of those brand new Corvette's that have been sitting out on the local dealer's lot for a year now but since my earnings apparently can't be applied as GM claimed they could be, I'm SOL and so is GM. Idiots.

You can read GM's bogus claims on the GM Card website at: https://www.gmcard.com/GMCard/
I don't recommend getting this card as other banks/companies are at least slightly more honest with their marketing and offers.

A Tale of Two Towns: Red Bank v. Eatontown

It was the best of voluntarism (Red Bank), it was the worst of voluntarism (Eatontown) as Red Bank residents banned together and worked with their local government in order to "save" a piece of public property, a water front park. The borough council was looking to sell the waterfront lot to raise some money for the 08 budget and a few local residents (who don't stink) started doing the leg work and providing donations in time, money and materials to save the park. This is a great story and I believe it shows that there is hope for a better New Jersey.

However, and I've commented on this story before, the local residents over in Eatontown stink. Finally, Eatontown planners denied WaWa's bid to build a gas station in Eatontown at the site of the old roller rink. (The comments Rock on this one!)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am a firm believer in protecting private property rights, I really do believe that I am, others might disagree with my self-assessment. Because I'm such a big believer in private property rights, I'll ask again, *WHY* do these people of Clinton Ave *THINK* that they should have a say in what some other private property owner builds on their own property? *WHY* does the Eatontown planning board (or any zoning/planning board) *THINK* they can tell a private property owner what they can or can't build on property that they own.  I get it, no one really *WANTS* to have a garbage dump built next to their home, but I have a great solution that both protects private property rights, increases open space, prevents urban sprawl and even gets government out of our lives, it's called... if you don't want WaWa built next to your house, YOU BUY THE LAND.

Here is how it works.... just like the residents up in Red Bank got together and saved a lot on their own, their money, their time, their donations - the residents of Clinton Ave, who don't want the WaWa all dip into their piggy banks and THEY BUY THE DAMN LOT. Don't want something built on it, good you own it, your call, just pay the taxes on it and I could care less.

These local residents are just as guilty for NJ being the WORST state to run a business as the politicians who overtax and over regulate business. WaWa is looking to not only spend the money to demolish an eye-sore, but they are willing to spend the money to develop the property and then spend the money to operate a store, paying taxes and creating a few (likely min. wage) jobs along the way. A company WANTS to invest in NJ, and the local residents get in the way, sad.

Art is so right, we live in such a Nanny State. It is mind boggling to me that the people of Clinton Ave would rather have what is left of that dump of a staking rink in their front yard rather than a convenience store. Again, I LIVE WITHIN 500ft OF *TWO* gas stations *AND* a 7-11. There are many children who live on the same street I live on and (knock on wood) in my years of living here, there is no blood on any one's hands as local resident Jim Maziarz wants us to believe their should be... he even used the line "for the children".

Trouble. Deep. My pictures from the previous story are below, and don't be confused 4 months later, the local residents over on Clinton Ave haven't voluntarily removed the graffiti from the building, in fact, I'll get over there later, I'm pretty sure that there is MORE, NEW graffiti on the building instead. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Youth Rights: Ban Sale of Some Cold Medicines To Minors... NO!

Art has the scoop at MoreMonmouthMusings but it seems State Dolt Senator Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) is the next to shove legislation down upon us little people in the name of "for the children". This as we commemorate 75 years since the 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment to end prohibition. An article in the Wall St Journal Let's End Drug Prohibition is a worthy read on the subject. 

Say, isn't President Elect Barack Obama a CURRENT drug user? He does smoke tobacco, that is a drug last I checked.  He was a former drug user as well, and I'm not talking about the over the counter cough medicine kind of drugs. Fact of the matter is, no one really cares. I don't care. If people cared about drug usage, they wouldn't have voted for GWB and they wouldn't have voted for Obama. Drugs are bad, yes we know. No one cares, someone tell that dullard Barbara Buono before she tries to have roller skates banned... rumor has it *6* kids were victim to bruises and scrapes because of roller skates... she better get on that!

Art should consider Barbara Buono for the Obie Award.

The original story is at NJBiz

Did I mention that I think Barbara Buono stinks. She does.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Jersey Bites, AND SO CAN YOU!

Do you remembers that TV Show "Yan Can Cook" or am I that old? Well Yan would cook food, any kind of food. The problem is that many families right here in New Jersey are hungry and our food banks are in need of your support. They can't cook like Yan and need your help.

That's why Deborah Smith of Jersey Bites is making an effort to recruit 100 (or more!) Jersey bloggers to Unite To Fight Hunger and help fuel the Community Food Bank of New Jersey's mission. Deb's plan is for the "This Bank Can't Fail" blogging campaign to hit on December 15th as 100 (or more)  bloggers from across New Jersey to help spread the word.

If you have a blog or website of your own, or know someone with a blog or website of their own, have them contact Deb via email  jerseybites (at) gmail (dot) com and look for 100 blog posts on December 15th. Blogger or not, we should all do what we can to help. Remember:

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm Going to Go To Jail...

(If you could say that in the Kerpal voice, that'd be great....)

Anyhow, I'm not REALLY going to go to jail... yet.... but an annual survey of journalists in prison seems to indicate that there are more jailed internet journalists worldwide than journalists working in any other medium.

I suppose that my best/only defense is that this stupid blog is hardly "journalism". Besides, I'll roll the dice and hope that my Free Speech rights hold up if ever questioned. Worst case, at least I have friend(s) in prison :(.

School Choice!

Do you remember last week when I posted Newt's editorial? Right, I don't know why I ask... Anyhow, Newt rightly notes:

It's time to declare the end of adolescence. As a social institution,
it's been a failure. The proof is all around us: 19% of eighth
graders, 36% of tenth graders, and 47% of twelfth graders say they
have used illegal drugs, according to a study by the National
Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan. One of every
four girls has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a recent study
for the Centers for Disease Control. A methamphetamine epidemic among
the young is destroying lives, families, and communities. And American
students are learning at a frighteningly slower rate than Chinese and
Indian students
Anyhow, it seems that NELLIE POU (D35), BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN (D15), PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR. (D18), NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ (D5) and VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE (D37) all think that the requirement of compulsory school attendance should be raised from 16 to 18 according to bill 375.

Perhaps these politicians don't understand that school has nothing to offer some families and the education system has become another failure of liberal bureaucracy. At 16, these would be students can legally work and earn income to help support their families, or perhaps they could become an ambassador? Instead, these out of touch politicians want to force students, who don't want to be in school, to attend school anyhow, where, since they don't want to be there,  they are likely to just be a disturbance to the other students who do want to learn.

A well educated population is a necessity, requiring students to attend school when school has nothing to offer is not going to help anything. Allow those students who don't want to be in school to drop out and that much more time and money becomes available to the remaining students.

This bill is a step in the wrong direction for both youth rights and a better form of education. Bill 375 addresses no problems and offers no solutions to any actual problems that faces today's youth. These same politicians would NEVER have the fortitude to REQUIRE all "adults" (age 18+) to go vote, and they shouldn't - if you don't want to go vote, you're an idiot[MoreMonmouthMusings], but go ahead, don't vote, see if I care - no one should require you to do something you don't want to do, and have no interest in doing. 

Voting against this bill falls under: Voluntary action is the only ethical behavior; the individual owns his/her body and is therefore responsible for his/her actions; society is a responsibility of the people, not the government. Hopefully, our smarter legislators will vote against bill 375 and then propose their own bill that would allow a 16 year old to vote in the next election, now that would show some testicular fortitude.

The Worst Newspaper Ever Stole my Blog Entry about Frank "Do-Nothing" Pallone!

Sort Of.

Remember a few weeks ago, I said "No Excuses now Frank"? Of course you don't,  why should you... anyhow. As a refresher, here was item #1:
Now that Mr. Pallone has won, again, and Democrats have taken control of the White House and both houses of Congress, it is time for Mr. Pallone to come through on his promises and for the APP to hold him accountable for coming through on those promises.

1) Keep Fort Monmouth open.
 - Mr. Pallone and the worst newspaper in the world want us to believe that Frank cares about keeping Ft. Monmouth open. With Ds in control of Washington, Frank should be able to get this done. Let's see it Frank.

Well, in this morning's obituariesworst newspaper ever I was excited to read the editorial Reload in fight to save fort  which basically points out what I said - Frank SHOULD be able to keep the fort open now if he actually cares about us little people here in Jersey. (He doesn't, but here's to wishful thinking anyhow).

Since the worst newspaper ever might not be around much longer (and might not make it another 2 years to call out Frank like I expect them to) below is a copy/paste of the editorial.

The Fort Monmouth redevelopment authority voted Wednesday to ask the Department of Defense to come up with funding for its share of the authority's $1.3 million 2009 budget.

We have a better idea: With a new Democratic president and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, it should press Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, both D-N.J., to throw all their weight into freezing indefinitely the planned transfer of the fort's operations to Aberdeen, Md. Or better yet, getting the move reversed. Regardless of whether they are urged to do so by the authority, Pallone and Holt should launch a new offensive aimed at keeping the fort open. The national economic crisis gives them even stronger justification for blocking the transfer.

An Asbury Park Press investigation proved the decision to close the fort, made in part because of anticipated savings, was based on flawed cost estimates and could adversely affect the nation's ability to combat terrorism.

The Base Realignment and Closure commission estimated the cost of shutting Fort Monmouth at $780 million. The Press found the cost has more than doubled, to about $1.6 billion. Fort Monmouth employs more than 5,000 people, supports an estimated 22,000 additional jobs and generates about $3.3 billion for the state's economy. With the severe downturn in the economy, New Jersey can afford the loss of jobs less than ever. And the country can't afford to fritter away tax dollars on a move that never made economic or military sense in the first place.

There are several fronts being manned in the battle to save the fort. Both the Government Accountability Office and the Defense Department's inspector general are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the BRAC commission's decision. A lawsuit by the civilian workers' union to block the closure, denied in U.S. District Court in July, is under appeal with the 3rd Circuit Court. Pallone and Holt need to open their own front to have the decision stayed.

Officials estimate it would take two decades to replace the 5,000 jobs that will be lost if the move continues as planned. Holt and Pallone can't allow that to happen. They need to start reaching out to the Obama administration and their congressional colleagues with renewed vigor, before the inauguration, to keep Fort Monmouth's operations in Monmouth County.

PS - logs do show that someone at the APP is reading my blog - I don't know why anyone reads this drivel but for my readers... thanks for reading. :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Democrats (and Republicans) should be opposing a bailout of the big 3, right?

Remember when gas prices were $4/gal all summer long, and we all complained, and the Democrats told us "too bad, we should be investing in alternative energy"? Well now is a good time for those Democrats to vote against bailing out GM, Ford and Chrysler since none of them have a real "alternative energy" vehicle on the dealer's lot, ready for mass public consumption.

First, these three companies, lead by Ford with the 150/Expedition, made HUGE gas guzzling vehicles that increased demand for oil. Sure, speculators and the oil company's actions didn't help, but automakers certainly could have done a better job making fuel efficient, safe vehicles that would have been burning less oil and costing us less. 

Then foreign companies like Toyota, who actually makes their cars in the US unlike most Ford/GM/Chryslers that are made in Mexico or Canada, decided to do things like get a hybrid Prius on the road, then that ugly hybrid Honda thing. Or did Honda beat Toyota to getting the Hybrid on the road, it's been a decade or more since the release to the public, I think GM might have released a hybrid Impala this year or last, but you wouldn't know about it since they don't advertise it.  Now, a few short years later, you can even find a full size Accord or a Camry as a hybrid. It was the foreign auto makers who then even went a step further and put their hybrid engines into some cheesy trucks as well.  Yay for them, giving We the People affordable, alternative fuel vehicles.

What did "the big 3" do? Well they just kept selling those monsters - added standard 28" spinners to the all new 8.0L Escalade and fattened up the already weighty SUVs with some more nice creature features, because you need 8" TVs on the back of every seat and a lazy boy too!  Of course, GM did promise us the Chevy Volt - that electric ca, but that's all they gave us was a promise, the car is still not available and the thing they are claiming will be released as the Volt is far off from what we were original shown. GM does have the Zero gas/Zero Emissions Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell, you just can't one, it's not available for sale - they just give them away to a few "test cases"... and then what GM?  In fact, I'm not sure that GM makes any cars available to the consumer that don't burn gasoline, they just claim their E85 cars are "alternative energy".   Yeah right.

If Democrats want to stay true to their word and promote "alternative energy" and insist on giving away my tax money - how about at least putting some money into a company like Tesla Motors. They make a 100% electric car, available to consumer (at a rather high price). I'm sure a few BILLION into the Tesla corporation could help bring that cost down.  I'm sure the other electric car manufactures could make good use of a few BILLION as well. Then of course, there could be a few BILLION available for things like real, coordinated public transportation systems - maybe we could get rid of the old Diesel trains that NJT is still operating in some parts - maybe get one of those super high speed 220MPH trains like they have in Europe and Asia between some of our big cities (DC to NY to Boston at 220mph anyone?). Giving away my tax money to the corporations who just making big, ugly, gas guzzling piles or crap that are made in other countries isn't going to help anyone and it isn't going to help the Democrat mantra of "save the environment" either.

Of course, we should all be opposing the bailout on the grounds of free markets and yay for capitalism, but that argument doesn't seem to win over any second thoughts. 

So, in yet another challenge from an Average No One, I challenge the Democrats (and Republicans) to step up and vote against the bailout, if not just in the name of saving the environment and promoting alternative fuel vehicles.  No bailout, but MAYBE, if you insist, I'd be okay with some tax rebate given to consumers who buy one of those new 100% electric or 100% hydrogen or 100% solar GM/Ford/Chryslers that I know must be coming because they keep promising them...

EDIT: a link to http://www.teslamotors.com/

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Young Americans for Liberty

Following on the heels of my recent youth rights related blog entries, I am pleased to share an email I received notifying me of a new organization known as Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). The Mission Statement and Principals are clearly defined:
YAL Mission Statement
The mission of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is to train, educate, and mobilize youth activists committed to "winning on principle". Our goal is to cast the leaders of tomorrow and reclaim the policies, candidates, and direction of our government.

YAL Statement of Principles
We are the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). As Americans we recognize the God-given natural rights of life, liberty, and property set forth by our Founding Fathers. Our country was created to protect the freedoms of the individual and directed by we the people. We recognize that freedom deserves responsibility and therefore we hold ourselves to a high moral character and conduct. Integrity emphasizes our stance towards action. Principle defines our outlook towards government. Peace and prosperity drives our ambitions towards our countrymen. We inherit a corrupt, coercive world that has lost respect for voluntary action. Our government has failed and dragged our country into moral decay. The political class dominates the agenda with a violent, callous, controlling grip. And, for this we do not stand. We welcome limited government conservatives, classical liberals, and libertarians who trust in the creed we set forth. WE, as Young Americans for Liberty believe:

THAT government is the negation of liberty;
THAT voluntary action is the only ethical behavior;
THAT respect for the individual's property is fundamental to a peaceful society;
THAT violent action is only warranted in defense of one's property; 
THAT the individual owns his/her body and is therefore responsible for his/her actions;
THAT society is a responsibility of the people, not the government.
The email I received was a Ron Paul Campaign For Liberty email as follows:

December 2, 2008

Dear friend of Liberty,

This past presidential season I saw a renewed enthusiasm from our country’s youth.

An excitement for liberty gripped the college campuses unlike I have ever seen before. Young people were energized for real change.

Still to my amazement, our college rallies attracted thousands of young people. Students were hungry for the message of freedom, peace, and prosperity.

For this reason, a youth-based movement for liberty is essential to our cause. It is these young men and women who will become tomorrow’s champions of liberty.

That's why I am giving my enthusiastic endorsement to Young Americans for Liberty (YAL); an organization that is built directly on the success of Students for Ron Paul.

My National Youth Coordinator, Jeff Frazee, is launching this organization with an ambitious goal of starting over 100 campus chapters in 2009. They have already started 47 chapters this semester.

Jeff worked with me exclusively to start the Campaign for Liberty (C4L) and host the Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis. Now, he is leaving to follow his real passion and lead Young Americans for Liberty.

The Campaign for Liberty has supplied $25,000 in seed money to help start YAL. I hope you will join in support as well.

Young Americans for Liberty is the continuation of Students for Ron Paul.

Students for Ron Paul established over 500 college chapters in all 50 states. Over 26,000 students joined our campaign. With this network and my support, Young Americans for Liberty is essential to building a genuine liberty movement in America.

You and I must remain serious about our ideas and goals. I am. I believe you are too.

Back in the 1960s, an influential youth movement formed around another anti-establishment presidential candidate. His name was Barry Goldwater. The organization was called Young Americans for Freedom; and without it, we may have never seen Ronald Reagan in the White House.

I have high hopes for Young Americans for Liberty, and wish them a similar fortune.

Please visit the Young Americans for Liberty website, sign up for their weekly E-Newsletter, and read about their plans for next semester.

Their website is at http://www.YALiberty.org

The importance of YAL to the future of liberty cannot be overstated.

Young people have the passion, energy, and dedication that many of you can relate to from this past year and a half. But, young people do not have very much money. It is up to you and me to give them our support.

So please go to Young Americans for Liberty's website http://www.YALiberty.org , sign up for their free E-Newsletter, and read about the future of our youth.

In liberty,

P.S. – Join me today to continue the Revolution on campus. Please visit the Young Americans for Liberty website http://www.YALiberty.org to read about their mission and join their effort.

I'm excited.