Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today's Battle Damage Report & More People Are Cowards

As noted in the past, I always shovel my driveway and sidewalk and do the same for my older neighbor. But this morning was different since the neighbor purchased a 13.5HP 30" snowblowing monster after the last storm with the agreement that I'd put the gas in it and operate it and he'd store it in his big, oversized garage. Unfortunately, by the time I got outside this morning, the neighbor's wife's sister had already managed to get her big ol' RWD Mercury giant of a car stuck side ways in the middle of the driveway blocking the lower half from the top half and the wife was apparently going to be late for a doctor's appointment so my plan to not shovel was foiled as I had to dig the Mercury out, then snow blow around it. For the record, I am certainly happy with the availability of that snow blower in my own old age so I cleaned up the neighbor's driveway, my driveway, then did two other neighbor's walkways, quick and painless and I did the other two neighbor's walkways without being asked or begged, and not because I had to, but simply because it seems to Right Thing to Do.... which leads me to a follow up of People Are Cowards.

So I hit the shower, eat my breakfast, drop my girlfriend off at work and am making my way to work and just as I'm coming down Rt35S in front of the Monmouth Mall, a man (maybe mid-late 20s) in a big old school Cadillac T-boned a younger gal (maybe around the same age) in her little Saab 9.3 Sports Sedan at the intersection in front of the White Castle over there. The six cars in front of me, all driven by Cowards, just continued on their merry way as if nothing had just happened in front of them. The lines of cars on the jug handles coming to/from the Mall, also driven by Cowards, remained in line at the red light and none thought to get out of their cars to offer some assistance. Once the light turned green, those Cowards drove on by as well.

Needless to say, trying to Do The Right Thing, I turned the hazard lights on, stopped (in a travel lane because the shoulder wasn't plowed) and ran over to check on the two drivers and try to help. The man didn't have a cell phone and hadn't called for help, or to tell a friend. He had a bloody nose that looked broken to me but I'm not doctor (in fact if I could share the things in life I'm afraid of it's needles and blood) and he was coherent and walking and generally seemed fine although he didn't seem interested in standing off to the side of the road and insisted on wondering through the intersection. I tried to talk him over to the side of the road but he was having none of it and I wasn't going to stand in the middle of the highway while Cowards sped by. So I ran over the Saab and the girl had just stumbled out of her car, airbags all deployed, side smashed in. She had some cuts on her face but otherwise seemed to be ok and was on the phone with her mother, but also didn't call the police/first aid. So I called 911 from my phone, gave the location, quick description of the people and injuries and the 911 operator thanked me and hung up. I grabbed the phone from the hysterical girl who was still talking to her mother to let the mother know that the girl seemed ok but the car was trashed and po-lease were on their way. Seconds later the Eatontown Police were on the scene (have to say, they were fast and showed up in numbers). I reminded the young girl to be polite and courteous to the officers and that cursing at them the way she was at me wasn't going to help her cause at this point. Once the officer got to her I just let another officer know I didn't witness the accident first hand, I was the one who called it in and I was the one blocking a lane of traffic and the (not so friendly) officer just told me "ok, you can just go". Well you're welcome and off to work and on with my day I went... which is what all of you other Cowards who all drove past had done.....

As noted last time I called everyone else in the world a Coward...

So don't be mad at me for calling you a coward, be mad at yourselves for being cowards, and maybe next time you see someone trying to Do The Right Thing, maybe a good start would be to help out and not just stand around, being a coward.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oceanport News: Monmouth Park Task Force Report for 1/20/11

The below was sent by our good friend and neighbor in Oceanport, Councilman Joseph Irace. As an immediate neighbor to Monmouth Park here in Long Branch District 10, the success or failure of Monmouth Park has a direct impact on local voters as well as local businesses, jobs, tourism and taxes in my own district. I continue to agree with Councilman Irace that permitting Monmouth Park to expand it's "Shore Destination" status by adding slots/video poker/table games, more restaurants, hotel/meeting space, etc would be a good thing for the area financially speaking, and would ensure that the track remains viable to continue to fund and pay for the retention basin project needed to put an end to runoff pollution in the river and cleanup any left over environmental damage.

Councilman Irace's report is below:

On Monday January 10th our Monmouth Park Task Force met to discuss the future of Monmouth Park as it pertains to the recent Hanson Report Part 2. Our Task Force meeting was attended by a varied cross section of members including two former New Jersey State Senators, a horse veterinarian, thoroughbred owners, and concerned Oceanport residents. The meeting was very specific and our participants quite vocal and knowledgeable. Our Task Force once again maintained the position that VLT’s, slot machines, or an all out gaming casino in the Meadowlands is the only way to protect horse racing in New Jersey. All the surrounding states of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland now have some form of gaming at their race tracks. This uneven playing field enables our competitors to lure New Jersey horseman out of State with larger purses and better quality horse racing.

Knowing the current legislative posture in New Jersey and knowing that gaming is not coming to the Meadowlands this year, our Task Force was once again proactive in seeking solutions to get us through 2011 and beyond. Among the suggestions were: working with Monmouth Park to seek alternative revenue streams such as a boardwalk type facility in the picnic area, upscale restaurants, concerts, retail boutiques and perhaps even a hotel. Anything to make Monmouth Park more desirable as an asset to the State, not just for horse racing, but as a destination place
in the heart of the Jersey Shore.

The Task Force continues to ask for the actual financials of Monmouth Park, not of the full New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, of which Monmouth Park belongs. Are the numbers the State uses correct when they say the facility loses $6 million? We do not think so and would like to see the empirical evidence.

We continue to be concerned with the possible veto of a bipartisan bill approved in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly that would enable horse racing to not only survive, but to thrive. It is important to remember that horse racing contributes 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape and open space to New Jersey.

Our Governing Body and our Task Force will continue to lobby our elected officials on behalf of Monmouth Park. It is important not only to Oceanport and Monmouth County, but to the state of New Jersey as well.

Joseph Irace
Borough of Oceanport

Monday, January 17, 2011

Resurrecting an Old Entry

I normally wouldn't read or publish an anonymous comment but clearly this is a somewhat reasonable response from someone who appears to know something, or rather wants to believe somethings that they've heard.

Let me first say that time after time, event after event, and town after town and street after street, I see the same two, maybe three or four, dozen folks working hard for the party, that's it. As I've said before, if hundreds or thousands of people are actively working to destroy the party and our nation, they are doing it without me because I just haven't see the guys in dark suits and glasses in back rooms. I'll also note that I have yet to see or meet Diane Gooch at an event that I've attended -- in fairness, some elected people I purposely ignore and don't bother trying to say hello to and then I avoid them when they approach; but I can at least confirm that I saw them in attendance. I can also state that Mrs. Gooch hasn't made any threats to me or anyone I know or at least no one I personally know has told me first hand of such threats and so I leave it to you to tell me exactly which events she may have actually attended to conduct her thuggery so that I can avoid such events in the future.

So let me try to address your concerns as best I can from my perspective.

1) "I bought my shot". In complete honesty, I just don't care. In 2004 Sylvester ran, no one cared. I didn't get involved to make a difference at that point in my life but for today, let's just say "whos that??". In 2006, LeAnn ran - I like LeAnn and did my small part locally to try to help her -- she was an averagenoone with no chance but she cared and wanted to run, good for her, but really, she was keeping the slot full because no one else cared about what Pallone was doing and was willing to put their name on the ballot next to his. In 2008, it was clear that Bob McLeod would have the nomination and in my opinion, he didn't care so much and was just filling the hole in the ballot. I ran because Pallone is a terrible representative and no one in the party seemed to care or be trying to do something about it or even run a good candidate. I got to know Bob a small bit and I really like the guy and he's far more reasonable and rational that I had given him credit for, but he did nothing, not a thing, to even try to win the Congressional race or try to get people talking about how bad Pallone was for NJ and our nation and I'll stand by what I've said -- bad candidate for Congress.

So if in 2010, Gooch really cared so much to run that she was willing/claiming that she'd self-fund and she's fighting to get the party line, GOOD. It's better than the horseshit candidates we've had in years past. At least the ballot wouldn't have had a name just to have a name like we had in previous years.

2) Re: Threats. No I didn't know this. Did you report this to the proper election law authorities? I'm not 100% sure who that would be but certainly I'll be glad to find out and help you along if there is any evidence of such campaign donations being forced on people, I'm pretty sure it's illegal to to ask someone to make anything other than a voluntary donation. Further, again, I generally see the same people over and over again -- none of them have ever mentioned that they were forced to give a donation or forced to nominate Gooch. I know of at least one person who tried to nominate Little, and this person is still an active and very well liked member of the party that I see time and time again. I can also say that no one ever approached me and/or has ever tried to force me to make a donation or vote for anyone, if they do, I'll certainly blast them here and on the streets of Long Branch for it. Now it could be because I'm such a nice guy, and I'm a poor slob from Long Branch, or it could be because it just doesn't happen the way you describe, I can't be sure which.

Regarding yearly contributors -- money contributors don't nominate candidates the chairman/committee does and again, I still see the same folks over and over again, I don't think too many have disappeared for doing anything to aid Mrs. Little and if the committee members/chairs are the problem, it seems like many committee seats are empty, otehrs get filled with one or two votes, get on the committee. And for that matter, I worked my own local district for Little in the primary and my local district swung 70% to 30% in favor of Anna Little, no one has kicked me out of the party, yet -- but I'm sure it's coming so I'll pack my bags and thank the locals later today.I worked my district and neighboring districts for all of the R candidates in the general election, Gooch and her supporters haven't threatened me, yet. If they do, again, I'll gladly report here and around town. I'll continue to support the candidates that I think are the good candidates in the primary and then support the R candidates in the general election. It is possible that I'll happen to think the party line was given to the better candidate in the future and I'll be supporting the line or I may support an off the line candidate, time will tell.

3) More money for a congressional campaign would be great, Gooch (claimed) to have more money, did you vote for her just because she had more money? I bet a lot of people did, and if you believe money was the answer to getting rid of Pallone, don't be mad at other people who agreed with you and voted for Gooch, because she had money.

I donated my few $s, and I do mean a few ($50 or so) to Mrs. Little's campaign and then I spent my own money to campaign for her and the other candidates in Long Branch because despite my donations there was little to no active campaigning happening (by any of the candidates) in Long Branch. Little eventually came to town with the Tea Party Oct 30, planted signs everywhere, knocked on U doors and then Rs I spoke to told me "the candidate doesn't even campaign here!" and the local voters were right -- Little and her campaign never contacted most of the Rs and at least here in Long Branch, the other committee people are useless and didn't contact the Rs for her.

Further, Mrs. Little had a full staff of people to work for her and do her fundraising, I think they did a great job dealing with the cards they were dealt and they did a reasonable job of raising funds for a candidate in a district where the incumbent was expected to win. And of course Pallone had more money, he's been in office for 22+ years building up that war chest; it would be foolish to think any Republican candidate who isn't a self-made millionaire willing to spend their own millions could somehow raise $4 million to compete. If more money was the answer, Gooch was the answer. I wasn't going to vote for Gooch in a primary for her 2A position alone, but truth be told, it was clear then that the candidate with a real best shot to win, because more money PROBABLY would have done the trick, was probably Gooch.

4) As for 2012 -- I'll say this much, I sure hope that come primary time, we have at least one candidate who WANTS to run and WANTS to win and WANTS to do the door knocking and fundraising and WANTS to take on Pallone and his war chest and his friends at the APP because that would be much better than having another Bellow/McLeod/etc to just fill the ballot and make no honest effort to win. If we have another noone on the ballot in 2012, you'll be as mad as I was back in 2008, maybe you'll try to run for office and get involved to make a difference.

5) You call it sucking up to the chairman, I call it acknowledging that maybe I had it wrong and the people I keep seeing over and over again aren't so bad -- if you haven't, and based on the accusations, I'm not sure you have, I surely suggest that you get involved and find out for yourself if such things you've suggested really happen the way you perceive them to happen. Again, from what I can see, and from what I know, they haven't happened, yet. Could I be wrong? Sure, I've been wrong once or twice in my life, but it doesn't change the fact that the same people you are accusing of being such terrible people seem to be the same people who do the real work for the party and it's candidates and those are the same people I see over and over and none of them have ever indicated to me that are being forced to volunteer for the party or any candidates.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Christie on Tenure

With a hat-tip to our 2A friend, the extraordinarily knowledgeable, Tom at RadioFreeNJ.

My rough translation follows:

Teacher: your allegations that good teachers can not be let go. It is false.

Gov. Christie: bad teachers can not be let go

Teacher: bad teachers can be let go. I have seen it happen.

Gov Christie: Really?

Teacher: Yes I have and I take great offense at your comment. There are bad politicians I'd like to see let go.

Gov Christie: Good then go to the polls and vote.

Teacher: But that's ok too. My question to you...

Gov Christie: No it's no ok. It's not ok because bad politicians, you should vote them out too except you don't have to go through 5 years of legal fights, hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to get rid of bad politicians.

Gov Christie: The worst part of your statement is that you know it's true. you know that the rules are setup, the rules that are setup on tenure are to get people, and to get people fired are so onerous and so difficult that school leaders won't even try because it's too expensive, it's too onerous and it fails.

I have to say, as someone who way back in the day supported Lonegan in the primary for Governor, I'm certainly happy with the way things have turned out, and are continuing to turnout, with Chris Christie at the helm. The ship we call New Jersey didn't take on all of this water from one or two little pin-holes, and I for one certainly never expected Christie to even plug the holes, never mind pump out the water and save the ship, but he certainly seems to be going after the largest gaping holes, and making an honest effort to save the ship, and I certainly appreciate and like his style of addressing the issues and the people who spout such non-sense at him.

PS: I personally know it's not easy but can someone close to Chris Christie PLEASE help him to lose some weight for his own health and well-being? If someone close to him can't help, I extend this open offer to the Gov to come use my own *little* personal home gym to use any day of the week. Call me selfish, but I want to see good people like Chris Christie around for a long time doing the work for our party and that means living a healthy lifestyle, which again, I know isn't easy. As some of my readers know and others may not, I speak from experience here. WAY back in 1999/2000ish, while a full time student at Rutgers and a full time software engineer in a cube farm, I was, for lack of a more accurate term, a HUGE FAT ASS myself reaching a high weight of about 285lbs, mostly sitting around work, or school and eating fast food in between. It wasn't easy, but I changed my eating habits, started doing some exercise, and I lost over 100lbs and got to a low of 171lbs in about a year's time. Here in 2011, now celebrating 10 years of healthy living, I walk around reasonably fit and in shape at about 205lbs which is how you see me around today and how most people know and remember me. I'm not here to attack Christie for being overweight, I just wish he'd get on the right track for his own health so that he can continue to be a workhorse for our party for decades to come; it wouldn't hurt to be around and healthy for his wife and kids either. I'm no certified personal trainer, but again, you're welcome in my gym any time Mr. Christie and you've certainly won me over a supporter.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Price of a Free Society"

My girlfriend and I listen to the Today show while we eat breakfast every morning. This clip aired live while we eating this morning and I actually stopped eating, went back on the DVR and confirmed that I heard correctly.

John Green, the father of 9 year old Christina Green who was murder by a lunatic this weekend in Arizona.

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Here is the text from the transcript of the video:
well, there's always been something special about Christina and, you know, the way she came into the world, on 9/11 and the way she left the world yesterday is obviously one that everybody else will remember. We're going to remember her for the nine years we had her and she was a beautiful, vibrant, young girl. It shouldn't happen in this country or anywhere else. But, you know, it's a free society, we're going to be subject to people like this. So I prefer this to the alternative.
In this heart breaking and tragic incident, that is an important message by a brave father with a great sense of perspective, and indeed, fitting with the tie-in to 9/11.

Since 9/11, we have sacrificed so many freedoms, ask anyone at the TSA or who has flown on an airplane about that. Here in New Jersey, we have "One Gun A Month" laws, but the crime report just released shows that gun crimes are up, not down.

Despite this tragedy, we should all refrain from sacrificing more freedoms and rights as we have done since 9/11 and instead, try to see the world from the perspective of John Green, that is, from the perspective that it is better to be free, than live in a totalitarian police state.

I have no children of my own, I can't begin to imagine the pain Mr. Green might be feeling, but my sympathies, for as best as I can understand his loss, are with him and his family and I for one appreciate his perspective and I do certainly wish that if anything good can possibly come from tragedy, it will be his message -- that we can not sacrifice our free society.

It might also serve as a reminder of these famous quotes
"Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" -- Patrick Henry
"Live Free or Die" -- John Stark
"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" -- Ben Franklin

PS. Frank Lautenberg banning "hi-capacity" magazines, that the rest of us simply call "standard capacity" magazines will do nothing to make us safer, or allow us to enjoy more freedom. Frank Pallone will likely get behind Launtenberg and fail to understand, or even think about, the message John Green has delivered.