Friday, October 24, 2014

FOLLOW UP ON PARASITE




The responses I received regarding my blog “Parasite’ were exactly as expected; some highly critical and many more supportive.

Although the true answer could come on November 4th, the general election time, as I write this I am afraid that the usual “what use is it, I can’t do anything about it” attitude will prevail.

The answer is of course we do have at election time the freedom of choice to vote for individuals and not to be “party bound”.
We, all of us have fought in one way or another for that right and should use it. Many times in a strongly one party dominated electoral unit, as in pseudo-democracies such as Russia or Nazi Germany with their 99% majority or go to jail elections the results is similar. However, there are many times in this country when the people’s voice is triumphant.

If you do not exercise your right you acquiesce to boss politics.

There was one-the first- comment, anonymous of  course, that I felt was typical of the bigoted blind political followers of our local party leader. I am reprinting it for specific comments:  The comment is in blue.

Doc, I am so disgusted with you. Who are you to name call by calling some one a parasite, grow up with your name calling, you are nothing but a bully with a computer.Really? Gloria is doing what whites folks have done and continue to do.

This infers that all “whites” and no “blacks” game the system, i.e. cheat; an unfortunate racist statement. I am sure that the majority of African-Americans as do the Caucasians accept their community responsibilities. Paying affordable taxes is one of them.

Just because this intelligent, strong Black woman was able to be smart enough to retire with benefits don't hate on her.

I have never objected to Gloria Taylor’s own pension benefits other than wish I could have had such a program. I have written that they are legal. . I have no object to the tax exemption for those veterans that are unable to work due to war service injuries, or for their widows. We owe them. It is the amount that makes her more independent than more than half of the residents in Plainfield that is the problem.

Your distain for her is apparent, but look at yourself before you point fingers at her.
You are right, I do have a distain for her. She has earned it not only with her attitude as a Councilwoman pontificating righteously on some subject at every meeting, plus her rudeness towards another Councilor.

Also, at the August 19 Council meeting she not only disrespected me along with other bloggers by saying that bloggers (except one who is a professional) should be disregarded because “all they publish is propaganda”. That is indirect slander.

She followed up in a private conversation with me after the meeting by saying I had no right to blog because “I was not a journalist”. Obviously the Constitution and the first Amendment’s freedom of speech which we live under means nothing to her.

I dare you to call her a parasite in her face. If her husband was alive his foot would still be in your, whatever. Would you threaten me with violence?

Grow up, you are a Bully with a small following that has no power. Ah the JG machine has spoken.

Another wrote:” it is very inappropriate of you to maybe unintentionally minimize the great service and sacrifice made by Mr. Taylor, her husband to this great nation”.

I never wrote that Rick Taylor as a Vietnam veteran did not deserve the benefits that those who served there were entitled to if they met the criteria, and he did.

I have a great deal of common sympathy for those who have served this country in combat and also respect those who were fortunate enough to serve in non-combat posts. FYI, I am entitled to wear the following decorations: Purple Heart Medal, Combat Medical Badge, Glider Badge, Distinguished Unit Badge, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Battle Stars and Arrowhead*. Why would I disrespect anyone who served?

The “Arrowhead” is for a combat glider landing. Try enjoying flying through flack.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

DIABETES & VETERAN'S TAX EXEMPTION



I recently posted a blog about the property tax exemption for disabled Veteran’s. The intent of course was to take care of those whose battle field injuries prevented them from earning a living.

As a result in the Vietnam War of the use of Agent Orange a known causer of cancers, birth defects, and other disorders those veterans who had been in Vietnam and developed those diseases were entitled to the property exemption benefit.

Although there has been no conclusive evidence of a causative relationship between AO and diabetes mellitus type 2 in about 2000 it too was added to the list of compensable AO disabilities.

There never was a question that there was a disproportion of African-Americans serving in Vietnam. A great number like Rick Taylor developed Diabetes in later life. The statistics show that among civilians African-Americans are much more likely to develop that disease than either whites or Asians. In fact 2011 the rate was 9.9% of Black males but only 6.5% of white males were likely to become Diabetic. The rate for Asian males is about 7.8%.

“Death rates for people with diabetes are 27 percent higher for blacks compared with whites. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death for those ages 45 years or older.

One of the problems for African Americans and diabetes is that they are more likely to develop diabetes complications and experience greater disability from the complications than whites. The frequency of diabetic retinopathy is 40 to 50 percent higher in African Americans than in white Americans. African Americans with diabetes experience kidney failure (also called end-stage renal disease) about four times more often than diabetic white Americans. In 1995, there were 27,258 new cases of kidney failure attributed to diabetes in black Americans. African Americans are much more likely to undergo a lower-extremity amputation than white or Latinos with diabetes. In 1994, there were 13,000 amputations among black people with diabetes, involving 155,000 days in the hospital.” (ADA documents)

Not only are African-American middle age males more likely to become diabetic but the figures are further askew among Vietnam vets because of the disproportional racial mix among combat troops.

I do not know the facts of Rick Taylor’s military history but I believe that it was a meritorious one; service in Vietnam resulting in one or two Purple Heart citations. 

Even though his unfortunate disability would most likely have occurred even if he had not served in Vietnam and there is no proof that Agent Orange caused Diabetes; he was entitled  to that recognition of tax relief when he became disabled.

PARASITE



We usual associate the word “Parasite” with a micro- organism that lives off or in another living organism. There is another connotation which applies to humans.  As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary: “a person or thing that takes something from someone or something else and does not do anything to earn it or deserve it


The term entered English language in the mid-16th century: via Latin from Greek parasitos ‘(person) eating at another's table,’ from para- ‘alongside’ + sitos ‘food.”


The voters in Plainfield are going to continue to be saddled with a “parasite” as a result of this November’s election. That is unless there is a concerted attempt to remedy by having an overwhelming break in tradition  and in the 3rd Ward the righteous Democrats, Independents  come out and vote or the Republican candidate; Bullock.


This year the 3rd Ward Democrat Candidate is Gloria Taylor, who was Jerry Green’s selection to fill Mapp’s unexpired term?


Why is Taylor a parasite? It is not because according to the State’s records a Gloria Taylor who retired in 2012 from the Paterson Board of Education receives an annual pension of $78,412.00 based on a final Annual salary of $120,634.00


Additionally there is a Gloria Taylor (I presume the same person) who retired in 2012 receives a pension of $15,627.00 from the Newark Public Schools. That is a total annual income of over $94000.00 from the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund.  Add another $5,023.00 from the Public Employees Retirement System and as Rick Taylor’s widow another $2239.00 from his time as Mayor we now have a known income from public records of over $100,000.00 a year.


That does not take into account the dollar value of her Health Care insurance benefits.


Since according to our laws all this sum is legally earned, that does not make Taylor a parasite. She earned it and if that is the total income she receives, it is one that all of us would be very happy with.


What makes Taylor a “Parasite” is that despite an income that is more than double the median for Plainfield she pays no property taxes

Under the law that property tax exemption is perfectly legal but perhaps not morally so. 

Should not those that enjoy all the benefits afforded under our Constitution and have the financial ability to pay their fair share do so? 

I believe that is a given, do you?


Taylor’s Tax free ride is the result of a law that enables total disable Vietnam Veterans to be property tax exempt on their homes.


Moreover, the law is so written that the widow of that disabled veteran is also protected by the continuation of the exemption.



This is a just law as it should be in cases where the widow does not have an income that would make her independent.


Please consider that according to “city data.com”  Plainfield’s estimated median household income in 2012: $51,701 (it was $46,683 in 2000). In New Jersey the median income is $69,667.00.

 
Gloria Taylor’s income is over $100,000.00 yet she is enjoying all the benefits of citizenship in Plainfield at yours and my expense. Legal yes, morally right no. That is what makes her a PARASITE.



Do we want a person to govern us who has no sense of morality? I believe not. The answer is for 3rd Ward voters to express their opinion at the polls.


In my next blog I will give a little background on that exemption and data on Diabetes.