Thursday, March 15, 2012

BIG Announcement 2012

It was four long years ago, around this time, in 2008 that I made a decision to put my personal life on hold for a  few months and announce my candidacy for US Congress in NJ CD6. Way back in 2008, I had identified many problems that I attributed directly to the man, Frank Pallone, who has been my representative in Washington for just about my entire life. Back in 2008, I did an "interview" with Eric Sedler (there's a name you fellow "long timers" haven't heard in a while!) from a now defunct site RedJersey. I offer my thoughts from that 2008 interview once again:

“I’m running for Congress because our current representative, Frank Pallone, has been in office for the past 20 years. I’ll be 28 this September which means that Frank has been in office for nearly my whole life. The economic and social problems that I face as a working adult are the same economic and social problems that have been building up over the past 20 years during Frank’s career as a DC politician. He failed to address these same issues when they were my father’s issues as young working American 20 years ago, and now that I’m finally “old enough” to run for that office, I want to address the issues that Frank failed to address for our parents before those same issues start effecting people like you and I who are young and relatively new to the work force, and other young people like us who will otherwise be stuck with Pallone’s poor leadership. I chose to start my political “career” with Congress because I plan to end my political “career” with Congress in no more than 4 years, I fully support term limits. I’m a software engineer, I work in a fabric enclosed cubicle far from an outside window and I’m very happy working as a software engineer out of my little cubicle; it’s what I went to school for and a software engineer is what I WANT to be when I’m all grown up. I don’t WANT to be a politician; I WANT to be a representative of the people. I WANT to be a representative who shares the experiences and lifestyle with the tax payers I represent. I WANT to represent the hard working people of New Jersey, who like myself and my parents, have watched more and more of our tax money get wasted by politicians like Frank Pallone. I don’t WANT to be a politician and I believe there is a difference between a politician and representative. Frank Pallone is a millionaire politician who has spent 20 years in DC – I don’t think that the majority of Americans here in District 6 are millionaire politicians. They probably aren’t all software engineers either but I’m willing to bet that their line of work and their income levels are closer to mine than they are to Frank’s, so when gas hits $4/gallon this summer, I know what impact that has on the bills. Millionaire Frank on the other hand probably doesn’t have to make the tough choice between paying the mortgage or paying for gas to get to work, so that he can earn money, to pay the mortgage. Maybe he was representative of the people at some point 20 years ago, but he certainly doesn’t represent the average person in this district today.”

So here we are, 4 years later. Among the many problems and issues I was concerned about in 2008: endless foreign wars -- that are still on-going
government spending -- which has increased dramatically
high gasoline prices -- that I posted at $4 in 2008 but will be $5 in 2012
increased government regulations -- before all of the new Obama regulations could even have been dreamed of.
pollution in Branchport Creek/waterways -- that are still polluted
And some even found some of the issues I spoke of to be funny or insignificant, such as federal regulations that protect unborn geese, but not an unborn humans, and those regulations still stand too.

It's been four long years now with Obama and Pallone "working" **for me**. Yet, the same problems repeat themselves, and even more new problems have been added.

Frank Pallone proudly proclaims that he was the author and force behind ObamaCare, the Government healthcare plan that, according to some/most/all of my readers, will bankrupt our nation, erode our freedoms and force our offspring into a life of slavery to pay for it's damages.

I'm offended, and being offended means someone needs to be punished for offending you in the liberal world we now live in here in 2012.

I'm offended, but not because I entirely believe (call me crazy!) that the above is true. I'm offended because for SOME PEOPLE, the above is actually true (no really, I'm not crazy, some people really will be shafted paying for that mess). Somewhere out there in the United States of America, right this second, is a human, made of flesh and bone like me, who IS actually impacted significantly, today, by ObamaCare. Somewhere out there is a banker, a business owner, an investor, a scientist, an engineer, a motivational speaker, an unemployed welfare recipient with time on their hands, an NRA executive, a Meridian Health Executive or some other BigWhig who is indeed GREATLY financially or personally impacted by ObamaCare... or something like the closing of Fort Monmouth - yet there isn't such a line of such people who are clamoring to restore their own futures by running against Frank Pallone and end his terrible policy. Do they not care? Or do they really think little guys like me are capable/want to do them a favor?

Just where is "ThatGuy"? Where is the guy whose personal finances are in such shambles BECAUSE OF FRANK PALLONE AND BARACK OBAMA, that he has no options left in life but to put his or her own career on hold, purchase a house here in CD6, claim residency, risk their personal reputation, and spend their personal fortunes taking on Frank Pallone? Not here. Which leads me to my BIG Announcement 2012.

While I know this will make some people incredibly sad, it will make me incredibly happy; I am officially ending this blog, ending my political involvement on all levels and returning to my cubicle where I work happily and provide jobs with benefits to several dozen people, strictly in the private sector as a VP of Information System for a local small business. I will not be seeking a nomination or filing a petition to run for US Congress again this year as some have asked. I will not be filing my petition for County Committee and I politely ask my neighbors not to write me in for any seats, and I am ending my effort to fill all of the seats for the Long Branch Republican Committee.  I will mail one final letter to my local district seeking a replacement committee member and will volunteer/help anyone interested in the county committee seat with getting on the ballot in June to complete my current responsibilities as an elected committee member.

If I may share some additional and final Random Thoughts, it is my opinion that:
1) There are much wealthier people, good and bad, who can and do influence the debate and candidates more than I am willing or able to do as an AverageNoOne.While politics should be about the good of the people and preserving the Union for future generations, it has become increasing clear to me that politics are instead about a small percentage of people seeking as much power and influence as possible; money talks, and I don't fault the average tax paying folks who have slammed the door in my face over the years for being disinterested in a process that We The People simply can not influence; for the record, no candidate or elected representatives have held a "sit down and hash out some issues" with county committee members.
2) There are significant, well established organizations and significant news and editorial outlets that are much more capable of influencing the debate. Some of the sources are reputable, some are not; all seek one thing; more money. I've donated enough to purchase another expensive German car to various candidates and organizations over the past few years - they advocate by using my donations to send me more requests for donations. I love what Ron Paul claims to stand for, but he is the worst when it comes using donations to ask for donations, Scott Walker and/or the NRA are not far behind.
3) There are large law firms, accounting firms, construction firms, unions, etc with significant membership/funds that wield enormous influence and whose income and existence is totally dependent on the outcome of elections. These people take election day off and make part of the daily job getting involved in political action as well as donate significant portions of their own income back to the system and candidates in order to perpetuate their own existence and ensure political victories in their favor.
4) If Frank Pallone was really as damaging to America as I believe, and many others believe, he is -- a real, well-funded, powerful, known candidate would have emerged in 2010, after ObamaCare, or here in 2012 once it's impact has started to take effect and Republicans across the nation would have united to ensure that the real mastermind behind ObamaCare, Frank Pallone, was defeated. Such is not the case and a fellow AverageNoOne from Asbury Park -- good luck my friend -- is going to make the best of it this year against Anna Little -- but why not have candidates in the Lt. Gov or a State Senator, a County Freeholder, an Assemblyman or woman or one of the many Bankers & Businessman who have an established fundraising network and base of support? Why doesn't one of the many well known personalities that seem so offended that they have made millions talking about ObamaCare move into CD6 and use their name recognition, sources and money to solve the problem, or at least get rid of the self-proclaimed mastermind behind ObamaCare? Why are We The Little People left to attempt to unseat a 26+ year, well funded incumbent with no support or care from those telling us how bad things are?

And should any of us make such an effort to defeat Pallone that our victory seemed imminent, Obama will show up in this Democrat heavy district to ensure our defeat. If Obama couldn't ensure victory, Bruce and BonJovi will lend their support. If they couldn't help, millions of dollars would be spent ensuring our defeat -- and defeated we would be. I'm lead to believe that Frank Pallone has a file of "dirt" on me already -- probably mean things like the time I put a bag of my dog's poo into a neighbors garbage can that was on the curb as the garbage truck was pulling up and the neighbor caught me doing this, yells at me and I politely tell the old bag to "drop dead". Maybe he also knows that I've, allegedly, done some smokey burnouts and drag racing on public roads in one of my many sports cars. Maybe he even knows about the time I let my dog on the beach.... without a leash, the horrible person I am! And who knows what other mean things like that I have done in life that Frank knows about, but what I've actually done is insignificant anyhow -- if I threatened Frank's career, my personal life could and would be easily destroyed, and running again puts my personal life and career at risk, and with peanuts to spend, what would, what could, an AverageNoOne do about it? Nothing. Pallone can afford to tell everyone in this district that your or I are kid touching anti-Semites, twice - and what can you afford? Do you want to have to explain to your boss in his office "No, I'm not"? Are the personal risks worth it to you? They are no longer worth it to me, and the incumbents and designers of the system know this, it is a vicious cycle that, in my opinion, will forever lead to worse candidates; I see no glorious end to the cycle in the near future.

To think that back in 2008, I was told "The System Works" as said person refused to sign my petition and help me get on the ballot. I've never disclosed the name of the fine person who told me this, but I disagree -- the system does not work -- the Freeholder must know this; did I just say the name?  The system was designed by the people in office today and the people in office before them to ensure that Average people like us are excluded, feel intimidated or are otherwise discouraged. The districts are not competitive and entire voting blocks, Republicans in some places, Democrats in others, are without a voice and representation. The system does not work; unfortunately, our nation has the greatest system the world has ever known, and I for one couldn't suggest a better system, so my advise to you, and I'll take my own advise moving forward, make the best of what we have, but understand the limitations and deficiencies.

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." - Sir Winston Churchill

Over the past several years, I have done my best to be a consistent, dedicated volunteer for the Republican party and I am grateful for the many opportunities this has presented me.  I am grateful to those who accepted me, my opinions and my beliefs and welcomed me to the party. I have made numerous friends that I hope to stay in touch with and I have made even more numerous enemies who I can only hope some good citizen will take up the fight against. I believe I have done a good job of keeping my local district's voters informed and getting them out to vote, some of them appreciate my efforts, others will be happy I'm calling it quits.

It has been a pleasure serving on the County Committee under Chairman Oxley, who I have only the nicest and kindest words for and I can only hope that Chairman Oxley continues to volunteer his leadership and wisdom to the party. And while I've never offered him the credit for the title and job he has done, it has also been a pleasure working under Long Branch Municipal Chairman Raymond Patsky who is one of the few Chairs who don't have some personal financial interests (that I know of) or stakes in public employments, contracts, etc..

Speaking of Chairman Patsky, if I may offer a parting wish -- I wish that the good Republicans who have helped me over the years will extend their support and kindness on to Chairman Patsky - help him build the Long Branch Republican Party. Help him to become a better chairman, but do not corrupt his morals and ethics; he is a good man. There are many so called "Republicans" here in Long Branch who are only Republicans because they couldn't fill out the voter registration form correctly when they moved here from whatever liberal hole they came from before. These so called "Republicans" lack the moral character and ethics to proudly represent our party and I can only hope that my neighbors, friends and party leaders ensure that these small-town, self-serving politicos do not become the face and voice of the Republican party in Long Branch. One such person seems likely to retire from his public sector job to try to take over the Chairman's title for his own personal gain; unacceptable. Another and his wife have been hanging on to their seats for their own personal power trip while doing nothing to advance the party principles or grow the party base. Chairman Patsky is one of very few honest, caring, conservative (socially and fiscally) Long Branch Republicans who posses all of the right knowledge, the right ethics and the right moral characteristics to make him a proud example of the kind of person who should be a leader in our party. Chairman Patsky simply needs guidance and support from those with experience to be a more effective chairman and to take on the RINOs who seek to use local political connections for their own personal gains. I can assure you, Chairman Patsky is not using the chairmanship to line his own pockets or assert superiority .Electing any of the other current members to chairman here would be a devastating set-back to the party Ray and I have worked to establish.

Again, I thank my many many blog readers, friends, neighbors, family for all of their support. I thank my girlfriend Celina, the love of my life, and her family who have been my greatest support system over the years and I hope that in my time on the county committee and as a volunteer for the party I have done well by all.

Just to repeat (from 2008, 4 years later in 2012) ... I plan to end my political “career” with Congress in no more than 4 years, I fully support term limits. I’m a software engineer, I work in a fabric enclosed cubicle far from an outside window and I’m very happy working as a software engineer out of my little cubicle; it’s what I went to school for and a software engineer is what I WANT to be when I’m all grown up.

If you care to see what I'm up to the future, http://www.HoganJames.com and/or http://www.TXStock.com

If you care to see what's happening in local/county/state/federal politics, check The Most, The ONLY Reliable Local Source -- http://www.MoreMonmouthMusings.net

Good luck my friends -- and On To Victory!!! ...now leave me alone so I can go my shoot guns, race my cars and try to earn a few bucks so that I can pay more taxes and earn more toys! :-)

--
James Hogan
Just a Peace Lovin', Law Abiding Patriot of these United States Of America


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Selling my 98 Firebird TransAm / RaceCar

... in case any of my political world/blog reading friends and neighbors are interested....

I am looking to sell my 98 Pontiac Firebird TransAm t-top racecar. It's not quite in race-ready/drive away condition, and it needs some work to be a race-ready car so it's a limited market that I'm looking for here -- this is not a daily driver/street car so if you're looking to buy such a thing, this is not the car for you.

Anyhow, if you are interested in a project/racecar -- for those who might not remember/know, it is a Navy Blue 98 TA with a WS6 hood. The motor is a 408 Iron block LS1 that recently put down just over 450HP to the rear wheels on a dynojet dyno through a Trans-King TH400/Moser 12 bolt. The motor runs smooths/sounds great and has no notable miles on it - just the break-in run time and a few short minutes on the dyno for tuning, you might be able to get more power out of it with a better/more careful tune. The TH400 probably has less than 2K miles, it's a Precision Industries Vigilanti converter but I don't recall the stall speed off of the top of my head - maybe I have it in an old old old email if you needed the exact specs. The Moser 12 bolt has 3.73 gears in it. The car is NOT a street car at this point and I don't know that you can easily convert it back into a street car. It has long tube headers into a custom Mufflex y-pipe/no cats and has a muffler that dumps under the car so it's pretty loud but not obnoxious as far as racecars go.

Other somewhat (maybe less than) notable features:
Has a nitrous bottle bolted down behind the drivers seat but nitrous system is not wired/installed - I will include all of the nitrous parts and a second bottle. Bottles are empty.
TH400 has a trans-brake - it's a B&M reverse pattern shifter, forget exactly which model shifter / shift light on the dash
Wolfe 6pt roll bar bolted in it / Harness on the driver's side
manual brakes / line lock
manual steering / no PS pump
BMR manual rack k-member/BMR rear sway bar/BMR upper/lower a-arms, no front sway bar
QA1 adjust shocks all around but they have miles/years of just sitting on them. Qa1 drag springs in front, I forget what the rear springs might be.
Strange Brake kit all around but there are some problems -- will explain/provide pictures to any interested buyer(s).
Grant steering wheel / No driver/pass airbags
No heat / No AC
no radio / no speakers

I do not know the exact weight of the car as it sits but most things have been removed -- it does still have the stock/factory leather front seats/carpet in it. 


I would like to sell the car with all of the following:
Gear Vendors Over Drive unit (not installed on the car but I have the OD unit and short drive shaft to use with it if you want to put it back in the car) I think paid about $2600 for it new, doesn't have many miles on it.
Trailer - can get the make/model/year etc but it's long/wide/open deck trailer with long/wide ramps
Weld Pro-Star 15x10 rear and 15x(?) fronts. The fronts have usable DS2 tires, the rears need new tires
I also have the original rear seats (not in the car) and numerous/misc other parts (like a wideband commander) that I'll include.

I'm looking to sell the car with the trailer and any/all f-body parts I have for sitting around for it for $14K or best reasonable offer.

I can provide pictures/info of the car as it sits today for anyone seriously interested, but again, it is a project car/racecar and it needs some work to be race-ready but I'd have to guess anyone who would be interested in such a car could probably fix the problems in a weekend or two of work. The paint/exterior is in decent/reasonable condition - it is a 98 / (13-14yr old?) that was daily driven for a few years so obviously the paint is not perfect. The car itself/body has 72K miles on it. The interior needs some parts fixed/replaced but is essentially a complete/stock interior - again, I can send pictures to any interested buyer. I also have two brand new window motors that I'll include as the window motors seem to be dead/not working -- if you even want working windows.

Reasons for selling are:
1) I have tried and tried and tried to get this car running and recently picked it up from a shop in far less than the expected running/race-ready condition which has just sucked all of the (little) remaining interest/motivation out of me.
2) I just don't want to spend my time turning wrenches, working on cars or racing cars at the track and would hate to part it out because someone with some mechanical know-how and time could really have a GREAT car at a fair price for a little bit of work.
3) I bought the 00 WS6 back in July, 2003 because my 98 had been broken for so long back then. It's March 2012 and my 98 is in the same state. Life has moved on for me and the WS6 has come and gone with the 98 still just collecting dust. Its just time for me to move on from the 98 now.

If you're interested at $14K for the car + trailer + all of the parts I have sitting around, shoot me an email j hogan at tx stock dot com and I'll provide current pictures and more detailed info/try to get a full/complete list of parts I have sitting around. Some older pictures (the car hasn't changed much really) are available at http://www.txstock.com/



I live in Long Branch NJ 07740 and keep the car/trailer near-by if you wanted to check out the car in person. I'm willing to tow the car/trailer up to 250 miles to deliver it if you can't come to get. Again, the car is not in race-ready condition, it is not a street car and if you think I'm trying to talk you out of buying it,it's only partially true -- the car needs a little bit of wrench turning, will be a dedicated track/race car that has all of the right parts/components to go really fast and be a ton of fun but will take a few hours of your time to sort out, ie: I don't really want to sell this car to your mom who thinks she can pickup groceries with it. Mostly, I'm just hoping to see it off to someone who will be able to correct the issues and enjoy the car and I want the buyer to understand what they are getting.

Feel free to pass this along to any friends you might have who are in the market for a racecar.

Thanks.