Thursday, March 5, 2015


“They will be placed in area with a large African American population”. That anonymous comment to Plaintalker II (Bernice’s) blog about the long overdue cams is symptomatic about the paranoia which has played into the hands of those who would rather see Plainfield as their fief rather than a progressive community.

It matters not that for at least the last two decades the population of this city has been an African-American dominated one. True the last census showed a drop from over 61.8% in 2000 to an estimated 50.2% in 2010.  

Those identifying themselves as white which may include significant numbers of Hispanic/Latinos dropped from 25, 5% TO 11.7%. Those that designated themselves as “some other race” rose from 10.7% to over 20%.

During the same span of time the Hispanic/Latino population has increased from 25% to 43.7%. Some claimed to be white, while the others elected a “some other race” designation.

The problem that exists here could be that this city’s “majority” who like to call themselves the “Minority” continue to blame state and national statistics for all their woes.

The surveillance cameras which might have made downtown Plainfield a more attractive place for suburbanites have been kicked around for over 6 years by the previous administration. Fund were appropriated and supposedly the installation would take place, but that saga has been well described in other blogs.

Plainfield’s lack of control over real and perceived crime has led to the conditions where there seems to be increased police involvement with blacks. In many ways there is a similarity with Ferguson’s percentage discrepancy from the total population of blacks versus whites being subjected to police action.

Plainfield is not Ferguson.  In most communities the African-American police officers constitute a percentage number that is far below the local population. However that cannot be a problem in this city since; Plainfield, has an almost equal number of black (48 percent) and white (42 percent) police officers. But the force still under represents Hispanics, who are more than 40 percent of the city but less than 10 percent of the police division. (Courier September 4, 2014).

It cannot be argued that a prejudicial Plainfield police target blacks over other races. That targeting is probably true in surrounding communities such as Watchung or Fanwood where it seems  almost all cars pulled over are driven by blacks; mostly young males. An actual record of driver stoppages by race and age in surrounding communities would be of interest.   

Until, dissatisfied residents stop playing the woebegone race card in Plainfield and work instead for a progressive heterogeneous town, no recovery in employment and wages will occur locally. 

Most important is that the Black community must accept the fact that there is such a significant Hispanic/Latino community in Plainfield that it should not be denied its  fair share  representation.


The first real snowstorm of this winter started just after 4 am. Before that we had had some rain most of Wednesday. Other snows this winter although frequent and too often had only been at the most about 3 inches, but enough to make February the third coldest in the records.

According to Rutgers meteorologist Robinson this winter of December 2014 and January and February 2015 posted the 21st coldest temperatures recorded.

Today, started with a 7:23 am robot call from the City emergency site notifying us that there would be a delayed opening of City Hall.

These messages are a true service and welcomed but not when I am still asleep or just as often when I am cooking dinner. 8 am would have been a more appropriate time.

I was able to put this day to good use; cleaned off most of the paper mountain on my desk, indeed I can see blacktop. Much to my surprise not only did I get a mail delivery, but all 4 daily ?newspapers? were outside in the snow at 8 am. I had a rare chance to read all including the OP-ED pages.

Once again I checked the PCTV schedule at the city site for timing of last Monday’s Council meeting which I again missed due to weather conditions and old age. I found for Tuesday at 7pm the Jan.20, 2015 meeting to be scheduled-that could be OK since there might not have been time to edit Monday’s meeting. However, for Wednesday night the scheduled program at 7pm was the Feb.9, 2015 meeting(s), and for Thursday night at 7; once again the Jan. 20 meeting. I will try to see if this week’s meeting is the one being shown.

Thank goodness it is supposed to be a good weekend and a warm Monday for the Business meeting. Perhaps the snow/ice barrier between the street and the sidewalks around the Police Headquarters/Courthouse will have been removed. One can hope.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


There will be a blog today,catching up on magazines Wednesday night..


Today the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell. The plaintiffs claim that federal tax subsidies that helped about 7.5 million people purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act are not legal in at least 34 states where the feds are operating the ACA’s health exchanges. A decision is expected in June.

Why is this suit important to New Jerseyans? That is because it is based on one section of the law which says that subsidies should flow to customers “through an Exchange established by the state.” Plaintiffs argue that language means that only people in the state-run marketplaces – and not those in federally run marketplaces – can get the subsidies.

There are only 17 states that set up their own sponsored Exchanges, the rest like New Jersey opted for the federal run Exchanges.

If the Court rules that the law must be taken “verbatim” the sudden increase in premiums by up to 200/300% could be catastrophic for lower income persons.

The liberal members of the Court may rule that it is not the language of the law but the intent that is important. In effect SCOPUS would be writing a law which is not its Constitutional function; although it could be in the best interests of the people.

There is an interesting comment in I believe the Post;"Should the Supreme Court decide King v. Burwell to disallow federal tax subsidies for residents of states without state health exchanges in June, House Ways & Means Chair Paul Ryan and his GOP colleagues John Kline and Fred Upton have a plan. They’d ditch the ACA by getting rid of mandates to provide or purchase health insurance and offer “advanceable” and refundable tax credits to those whose insurance might be dropped under the Supreme Court decision. 

With the present controversy about militant Islam specifically ISIS and the nuclear bomb ambition of the Theological leadership in Iran how many saw this report this past week

Islamic State militants released a video Thursday appearing to show men destroying artifacts, some dating back to the 7th century BC, at an antiquities museum in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The militants appeared to smash statues and sculptures from the Assyrian and Akkadian eras using sledgehammers and drills. In the video, a man said, “The prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics.” The video has not been independently verified, though UNESCO said it is checking it. Islamic State militants seized the museum when they overran Mosul in June 2014, and the Financial Action Task Force reported the fighters control more than 4,500 archaeological sites, including UNESCO world heritage sites. UNESCO chief Irina Bokova said, “This attack is far more than a cultural tragedy – this is also a security issue as it fuels sectarianism, violent extremism and conflict in Iraq.” She called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

Throughout history, religious fanatics of all types when in power have destroyed any artifacts including structures of other religions. The Inquisitors during the Spanish conquest of Central and South America burned or destroyed all conquered native religious records and sites with a permanent loss of irreplaceable history.

In the early 70s Helen and I were fortunate on a trip to Iran, India and Afghanistan to fly from Kabul to Bamiyan to see the Great Buddhas which may have dated from Alexander’s time. *** Several years ago the Taliban when in power destroyed them using artillery for the purpose.

WE should not underestimate the threat to our way of life by these zealots.

I might add that while in Iran our guide after we had made a trip to a bazaar and he had bargained successfully for I forgot what, perhaps a silk rug, remarked that bargaining was a respected way of life and that lying for an advantage was highly regarded as proper.

I do not believe that the Iranian leadership intend to keep agreements any more than the North Koreans, or Russia’s Putin.

***Wikipedia states that the Buddhas date back to the 6th Century. They were originally jewel encrusted but various conquerors  had looted them.