Monday, September 29, 2008

From Jerry Green's Page

I am an avid reader of Jerry Green's Page. Sometimes I find some of his facts questionable and perhaps he will clarify or expand on some of his statements. At the risk of being a "naysayer", I did read in Jerry Green's Page on Sept. 20,2008;"We are winning the war on crime"
"Our current administration has realized that the time is NOW for change, which is why major crimes in the Queen City are drastically down. The former administration's efforts in the matter resulted in 15 murders, while our current administration has mounted a front on major criminal occurrences, yielding only two this year."

That sounds great, but this was the headline in the Courier News, Sept 25,2008; "PLAINFIELD —Three separate shootings that killed one man and injured two others, occurring during a span of 14 hours, shook the city Wednesday night and Thursday morning." That is disturbing.

If my Arithmetic is right and the previous administration was in office for 8 years. 15 murders in 8 years averages out to less than 2 a year. In the past 21 months there have been 7 murders which averages out to 4 a year or twice the previous rate. Since the 2 reported for this year was in a 6 month period. 3 in 9 months is on track to continue the present rate.

Are we winning by having more of the bad guys killed? Undoubtedly the County/Local Police task force will if given time and cooperation have a very positive effect. I will grant that approximately 10 years ago I heard the then mayor state that he did not believe we had a gang problem in Plainfield. Of course at that time he had been supported for his position by the local Democratic Party, however this was before he challenged the Green party leadership.

Assemblyman Green you are so right when you wrote "Feathers are being ruffled in the camps of the ‘usual suspects’ because EACH issue voiced on my blog is researched, yielding SECURED truth in EVERY matter."

My problem is I don't know what a "SECURED truth" is. Are there "unsecured truths" and if so how would you define them? I suppose the "usual suspects" are individuals that find statements in the newspaper's files or legislature voting records that seem to be in conflict with your truths. Please elucidate in an understandable manner your definition of the quoted phrases.

You further wrote; "The premise of this blog is to research issues within our community, and shed truthful light on them, aiming to bring about unified resolve. The reason a few feathers are being ruffled is because for such a long time, issues were not being handled correctly, and this type of behavior stoked the fires of complacency within this small handful of spoiled, inactive members of our community. After noting the positive movement towards healthy reformation with the Plainfield Police Department, the ruffled ‘usual suspects’ labeled me as “trying to run Plainfield.” Is not 'fires of complacency" an oxymoron?

And more recently you stated; "After eight years of the McCain/Palinism behavior in our community, it most CERTAINLY is time for CHANGE. It is time for US to wake up as a community. That old way of thinking was hurting our community, doing much more harm than good. I hope and pray that our city of Plainfield begins to wake up, just as the nation is waking, and acknowledge that the time for change is NOW. So then, what sort of instrument can be used to institute this change…? The answer to that question is YOU; the power of COMMUNITY!! Because Together, EVERYONE, Achieves, MORE!!"

I am bewildered since I don't know what McCain/Palinism is, or how that reflects on the last 3 years of the "Green Mentored" Briggs administration. I believe that the Mayor did refer to you as her mentor when she assumed her first political office.

I am relieved to understand the meaning of "COMMUNITY'. Heretofore I had originally thought that the definition was " a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and have a cultural and historical heritage"*. However you define it more succinctly as: "Community is such a powerful word, but sometimes, because we use it so much, the meaning gets lost in translation. When I use the word community, I am addressing those who partake in, some time or another, the same environment I do. In order for the TRANSACTION of community to be accomplished, there are certain elements of life that are needed. A few of these necessities are unity, respect, trust, TRUTH, and communication." That last sentence hits the nail right on the head. We need more of those necessities.

*-Source an out of date 1962 edition of The American College Dictionary. (Belonged to one of my daughters)

This was written and timed posted before "A DANGEROUS DAY"


I had not planned to do a new post, but the events of Monday Sept 29 is of such magnitude that I must briefly and incompletely express my thoughts.

On the 26th I expressed my concerns about the economic crisis facing us. I mentioned my fears that nothing constructive would happen because we are dependent on elected politicians become statesmen. Unfortunately I was too perceptive. An imperfect plan to save the country's economy, collapsed when 15 Republicans who were going to support the plan suddenlyvoted against it.

Before anyone blames the Republican for putting politics above their country, remember that the bill would have passed in the house if the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi had not abused her position and mad a very blatant cheap shot political address before calling for a vote. I can not conceive that she did not consider the Republicans' reaction.

Unless cooler heads can restore unity of action and a more acceptable bill be rapidly produced and enacted into law every one of us is going to be victims. On Sept 24 I wrote (the quotes are in bold face, my new comments regular type); But it is not only a rescue of Wall Street and the Bankers, but the salvation of all those retirees who have their sole resources in pension plans, mutual funds or even so called blue chip stocks. They can become destitute if the meltdown is allowed to expand.

Consider that most of us are involved with the stock market either through investments , or mutual funds as savings, but any one who has any vested pension plan is deeply involved. On Monday 7% of the resources of those pension plan went down the tubes. Continued erosion will in effect bankrupt the plans. Indeed many have already been underfunded.

I further wrote: Those who are still working stand a great likely hood of being jobless as companies fail, more mortgages will be defaulted and the snowballing will continue and soon there will again be bread lines. There must be a plan to rescue those who were persuaded to purchase homes using mortgages that they did not understand.

The salvaging of home ownership is not only an individual problem, but it is necessary for all our survival.

I certainly hope that whoever is the policy maker of whatever type structure Congress enacts will have the guts to at the minimum demand the return of the golden parachute monies and the obscene bonuses that the corporation executives have received in the past two years, especially those that have failed or become bankrupt or have had to be bailed out.

Yes we have to punish those that were reckless, not let them laugh all the way to the virtual off shore bank. Some methodology should be found for redress to the small investor who has suffered irreparable financial damage.

We are at a point that the longer government waits the surer that we are going to have a disaster of the proportions of 1929-through the 30s. The fact that much of the "bailout funds" will be a loan not a gift was not emphasised. There is a possibility of recouping most of the $700 Billion.

Bush as a lame duck President has no power, and can only hope to get bipartisan cooperation and action. The onus falls on the Senate and House leaders who must quickly produce a package that could be temporarily acceptable and subject to refinement and adjustment.

All comments welcomed and desired.


Several years ago there was a popular ad. about Rye Bread that started out with the catch phrase "You don't have to be Jewish". Likewise, not being Jewish does not exclude you from the customary prayer and wish;
May the coming year ,5769 according to Jewish reckoning, be one of good health,happiness,minimal strife, and general well being for all in our Plainfield COMMUNITY and the nation.

For those interested, the High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashanah at sunset (6:15 PM) this September 29 and end at sunset Oct. 9th. Rosh Hashanah is "New Years" and among the most observant Jews lasts for two days. The last day,Yom Kippur, is the most holly day in Jewish life and is marked by fasting and prayer services from sunset the night before to sunset of that day. The service before the final short closing service, when the blowing of the Shofar ends the religious day , is known as the Yizkor service devoted to the memory of loved ones who have passed away over the worshiper's lifetime.

Since only an extraordinary happening would be motive for my blogging on the 30th, I am posting the one for tomorrow, this afternoon.

Green's Blogs

I seem to have an extraordinary inability to comprehend Assemblyman Green's last three blogs; "Simple Arithmetic", "If the shoe fits--", and "Building our Community".

Without doubt Green has already started his reelection in 2009 campaign. He has not learned a lesson from Hilary's early start prolonged campaign that the message can get stale and invite instead of prevent strong rival candidates.

He has progressed from attacking individuals such as "the previous administration. or Councilman Storch to groups described as "naysayers" or the 'usual suspects". I can understand that naysayers are those who disagree with him , but what is the unmentioned crime of the "usual suspects"? And who are these dastardly individuals?

Perhaps in HIS words they are those referred to by "it is time for every duck to fall in line with the premise of order." My interpretation of that phrase is "If you don't do as I say, you are not a party player but my enemy". Or perhaps that refers to the "naysayers"

Green wrote:" Along the lines of change that we as a community and as a nation, are craving, the recent moves toward managerial efficiency are showing themselves as proving true. Ex-chief Edward Santiago was found guilty of two counts of insubordination; counts that are not conducive to the healthy management of a positive and successful department.Officers lacked working equipment to correctly resolve this issue. Now that their voices are falling on ears that are listening, faulty equipment has been thus corrected, and the number of speeding tickets has increased drastically."

Yes the city after 3 plus years of the Green mentored Robinson-Briggs administration has finally seemed to have employed a City Administrator who has discernible goals and a CFO who appears to have a business comprehension of financial controls. Only time will tell.

As to the ex-Police Chief who was charged with 8 violations. The important 6 which had to do with a conflict with the Director of Public Safety were dismissed as non sequiturs and not insubordination. "The two malfeasance charges that were upheld stem from a radar speeding sign that was broken on March 15, 2007, and an officer's expired radar certification, according to court papers" (Courier News).

In another blog JG wrote:"After eight years of the McCain/Palinism behavior in our community, it most CERTAINLY is time for CHANGE. It is time for US to wake up as a community. That old way of thinking was hurting our community, doing much more harm than good. I hope and pray that our city of Plainfield begins to wake up, just as the nation is waking, and acknowledge that the time for change is NOW. So then, what sort of instrument can be used to institute this change…? The answer to that question is YOU; the power of COMMUNITY!! Because Together, EVERYONE, Achieves, MORE!!"

Has he forgotten that in the past eight years Plainfield has had only a single party government, a party of which with the exception of a brief period when he took his leadership for granted he has been the head of the local party.In doing his "Arithmetic" he ignores the fact that for nearly the past three years the administration has been led by his personally selected mayor. I am happy that he prays that the time for change is now.

He wrote;"It surprises me to read the positions of the ‘usual suspects’ regarding my stance on the fight against favoritism and double-standardized work implementation in dealing with the wayward city inspector."

No one criticized you for complaining about perceived inappropriate action by a city official. We approve your attempt for corrective action,and are envious of you being able to use your legislature position in such an effort. WE, however resent your comparing yourself with Olive Lynch who suffered financial loss due to repeated actions of Code enforcing personnel and Planning Board recommendations. The road blocks used to thwart her are not comparable to the inconvenience suffered in establishing a local campaign quarters. Could the fact that she politically opposed your candidate have been part of her problem?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More on Health Care

Adrian Mapp wrote "Barack Obama sees an America with universal healthcare—where all citizens are treated with dignity and worth;" That is an oxymoron. No universal system treats patients with "dignity and worth".The majority of the managed health care systems((HMOs)dictate what doctors you can see, what treatment you can get and even what medication will be prescribed. A few higher premium plans permit freedom of choice of physician. All plans continually reduce their reimbursements.

Although, restriction of choice for a physician is not part of the government plans (Medicare and Medicaid) there is continued reduction in payments to physicians and at the same time greater restrictions and rules that if not followed result in loss of payment and even penalties.

Patients nowadays chooses the doctor their plan dictates not by quality of care, personality, or confidence. There is a rush to see the "doctor in the box" who forgets about the patient after his shift is over.

In the last 20 years,the exceptional student who would choose medicine as a career seeks other professional lives that are more self rewarding and better paying. Those that do become doctors tend to become super specialists. The ranks of true primary care physicians are decreasing. The family doctor is a rarity.

Universal federal health care will only reduce the care the people receive to the lowest denominator. As in England, those that are wealthy enough will abandon the system for non participating doctors and private clinics. IN some countries these have become illegal.

This is not a condemnation of Obama but expresses my fear of the impact of a bureaucratic run health system.It does not represent utopia. There are many important factors to judge who we should elect.

Mostly about Health Care.

Jerry Green has posting so rapidly that I have not been able to assimilate his last two blogs when low and behold this Saturday a new one appeared on how he saved Plainfield's Abbott school funding.

I must learn more about the Abbott program, why Plainfield apparently lost their portion and what was done to restore the funds before I will attempt any response. Perhaps the Assemblyman will enlighten me before I fall into the trap of posting falsehoods as facts. I will endeavor to deal with all three articles this week along with any comments about the economic crisis.

That being said, I am turning to another politician's blog. Adrian Mapp makes the point that one of the main reasons to support Obama is his health plan, which is Universal Government Health Care. Although retired I had to deal with Medicare and Medicaid as well as the government subsidized HMO plans. for years and I do have a physician's viewpoint.

In the 18years since I retired the paperwork required for a doctor's practice has increased a thousandfold. Also there are increasing numbers of rules and regulations that really do not improve patient care, but any breach no matter how unintentional or by a harried clerk can result in large fines for the doctor and even suspension of his license.

Much time with a patient is spent on a check list that is supposed to mean that something or other was asked or performed. Often the list is complete but the task was done in a perfunctory manner. The errors that were meant to be prevented as a result of omission, now occur because the harried doctor is under time economic constraints to see more patients in a give period than my generation was when we could relate to our patients as individuals.

Moreover, there now exists "cookbooks" on therapy and even diagnosis that must be followed, no deviation is acceptable on any unannounced audit of he practice even if the patient's results were above the established norms.

As our manged care systems now operate, there is a disproportionally large expenditures for management operations and a decreasing amount for patient care.

If you have read any of my discussions on various national health systems you will note that where there is universal systems there is invariably prolong delay in receiving certain procedures or treatments. This has led to a two tier system in most countries where like in Great Britten with its tried and true mandatory heath care, there is a flourishing private heath care system.

I am sure that most of us, just as I was, have no knowledge about what McCain has proposed. I have taken the liberty, rather than extract portions out of context, of copying in toto an article he wrote for the "National Review" in May while seeking the nomination that sets forth his position. I have taken the liberty to boldface important points. I implore you to read it as part of your decision base.

What exactly is the problem with the American health-care system?

The problem is not that Americans don’t have fine doctors, medical technology, and treatments. American medicine is the envy of the world. The problem is not that most Americans lack adequate health insurance. The vast majority of Americans have private insurance, and our government spends many billions each year to provide even more.

The biggest problem with the American health-care system is one of cost and access, and as a result tens of millions of individuals have no insurance. For example, we currently spend for about 2.4 trillion dollars a year on health care. A decade from now that number, under current projections, will double to over four trillion dollars.

The Obama and Clinton response to these problems is to promise universal coverage, whatever its cost, and the massive tax increases, mandates, and government regulation that it imposes. But in the end this will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly. We’ll have all the problems, and more, of private health care — rigid rules, long waits, and lack of choices, and risk degrading its great strengths and advantages including the innovation and life-saving technology that make American medicine the most advanced in the world.

I have a different approach. I believe the key to real reform is to restore control over our health-care system to the patients themselves. To that end, my reforms are built on the pursuit of three goals: paying only for quality medical care, having insurance choices that are diverse and responsive to individual needs, and restoring our sense of personal responsibility.

American families know quality when they see it, so their dollars should be in their hands. When families are informed about medical choices, they are more capable of making their own decisions, less likely to choose the most expensive and often unnecessary options, and are more satisfied with their choices. Health Savings Accounts are tax-preferred accounts used to pay insurance premiums and other health costs. They put the family in charge of what they pay for, and should be expanded and encouraged.

Americans also need new choices beyond those offered in employment-based coverage. They want a reformed system so that wherever you go and wherever you work, your health plan goes with you. And there is a very straightforward way to achieve this.

Under current law, the federal government gives a tax benefit when employers provide health-insurance coverage to American workers and their families. This benefit doesn’t cover the total cost of the health plan, and in reality each worker and family absorbs the rest of the cost in lower wages and diminished benefits. But it provides essential support for insurance coverage. Many workers are perfectly content with this arrangement, and under my reform plan they would be able to keep that coverage. Their employer-provided health plans would be largely untouched and unchanged.

But for every American who wanted it, another option would be available: Every year, they would receive a tax credit directly, with the same cash value of the credits for employees in big companies, in a small business, or self-employed. You simply choose the insurance provider that suits you best. By mail or online, you would then inform the government of your selection. And the money to help pay for your health care would be sent straight to that insurance provider. The health plan you chose would be as good as any that an employer could choose for you. And if a church or professional organization wishes to sponsor insurance for its members, they should be able to do so. The bottom line: Health insurance would be yours and your family’s health-care plan to keep without worrying that it will go away along with your job.

The value of that credit — 2,500 dollars for individuals, 5,000 dollars for families — would also be enhanced by the greater competition this reform would help create among insurance companies. Millions of Americans would be making their own health-care choices again. Insurance companies could no longer take your business for granted, offering narrow plans with escalating costs. It would help change the whole dynamic of the current system, putting individuals and families back in charge, and forcing companies to respond with better service at lower cost. Again, choice and competition are indispensible to real reform that brings costs down and broadens access while maintaining quality.

But we also need to ensure that those without prior group coverage and with preexisting conditions, who have the most difficulty in the individual market, have access to the high-quality coverage they need. As with other problems our nation has faced, states have taken the lead in experimenting with ways to cover the “uninsurables” and give us a window into what works and what doesn’t work. I will consult with the governors to solicit their ideas about a best practice model that states can follow — a Guaranteed Access Plan or GAP — and work with Congress, the governors, and industry to make sure that it is funded adequately and has the right incentives to reduce costs such as disease management, individual case management, and health and wellness programs. The details of a Guaranteed Access Plan would be worked out with the collaboration and consent of the states that wish to participate.

This cooperation among states in the purchase of insurance would also be a crucial step in ridding the market of both needless and costly regulations, and the dominance in the market of only a few insurance companies. Right now, there is a different health-insurance market for every state. Each one has its own rules and restrictions, and often guarantees inadequate competition among insurance companies. Often these circumstances prevent the best companies, with the best plans and lowest prices, from making their product available to any American who wants it. We need to break down these barriers to competition, innovation and excellence, with the goal of establishing a national market to make the best practices and lowest prices available to every person in every state.

Families also place a high value on quickly getting simple care, and have shown a willingness to pay cash to get it. If walk-in clinics in retail outlets are the most convenient, cost-effective way for families to safely meet simple needs, then no policies of government should stand in their way. And if the cheapest way to get high quality care is to use advances in web technology to allow a doctor to practice across state lines, then let them.

Effective reform must also deal with another source of needless cost and trouble in the health care system which comes from the trial bar. Every patient in America must have access to legal remedies in cases of bad medical practice. But this vital principle of law and medicine is not an invitation to endless, frivolous lawsuits from trial lawyers who exploit both patients and physicians alike. We must pass medical liability reform, and those reforms should eliminate lawsuits directed at doctors who follow clinical guidelines and adhere to patient safety protocols. If Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton are sincere in their conviction that health care coverage and quality is their first priority, then they will put the needs of patients before the demands of trial lawyers. They can’t have it both ways.

Finally, we must personally do everything we can to prevent expensive, chronic diseases. Our rights in this country are protected by our personal sense of responsibility for our own well being. Cases of diabetes are going up, not only in the baby-boom generation, but among younger Americans obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all on the rise. Parents must impart to their children a sense of personal responsibility for their health, nutrition, and exercise.

We can build a health care system that is more responsive to our needs and is delivered to more people at lower cost. The “solution,” my friends, isn’t a one-size-fits-all-big government takeover of health care. It resides where every important social advance has always resided — with the American people themselves, with well-informed American families, making practical decisions to address their imperatives for better health and more secure prosperity.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I am not going to be concerned about whether one candidate look at the moderator or at the general area of the audience or at his oponent while speaking. Both seemed equally self assured and seemed to follow their own battle plan without any faltering. I am sure that the subsequent debates will be more revealing as issues evolve.

One fact is absolute; no debate is going to change the position of the die hard Cheney Republican or that of the ethnic proud or extreme socialist liberal core Obana devote. The debates are aimed at the so called independent voters and most importantly represent an attempt to sway the free thinkers in each party. I can not conceive Friday night accomplishing any of those goals, not because there was little substance , but rather unquestionably both candidates demonstrated that they are the right party choices.

Since the National League race is over baring an unlikely turn of fortunes, I can spend my free time trying to analyze Assemblyman Green's "Simple Arithmetic" and " If the shoe fits---" bogs.
This may take several days since his hyperbolic writing style often obscures the subject's focus. Indeed the Blogger Green and the Verbal Green seem to be different personalities.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate #1

There was two hours of great TV Friday night between 9&11 PM.

Only the most ardent supporter of Obama or McCain can tell who won the debate. This listener's opinion is that both conducted themselves admirably. There was a minimum of trash comments and very little skirting of answers. The moderator was fair in his questioning and I felt that this was the least biased debate that has ever been presented.

This is of course the opinion of only one who believes that he has been indirectly accused by a most erudite local blogger of using a blog to "stoked the fires of complacency within this small handful of spoiled, inactive members of our community". I need an interpretation or translation of that phraseology.

I am sure that all of us even the most opinionated await the next debate between the VP nominees. The battle lines will be more tightly drawn, and I hope the tone of the questioning is as concise, pertinent, and fair as this one.

A 180degree turn. Assemblyman Green's computer is still going full blast and I will have fresh material for comment tomorrow.

Crisis Potpourri

Two days ago I expressed my concerns about the economic crisis facing us. I mentioned my fears that nothing constructive would happen because we are dependent on elected politicians become statesmen. The news this morning validates that fear.

Although a consensus agreement had been worked out it appears that it is the Republicans in the house that have sabotaged an admittedly imperfect program. What they have offered instead is an position to use as a campaign base tin an attempt to return their seats. The country be damned.

Bush as a lame duck President has no power, and can only hope do get bipartisan cooperation and action. The Senate leaders and some of the House leaders have worked to produce a package that could be acceptable.

The two Presidential Candidates' position have not yet been clarified and what impact they can have on the negotiations still is doubtful.

We can only sit and wait for a miracle. Congress might accept its responsibility to the nation.

I still have not decided which candidate should receive my vote and I hope my wife's. I do not intend to politicalize this blog. If there is some distortion that is too blatant to ignore I will point it out. To date most of the TV spots have presented the "truth" as perceived by the sponsor although 90% of the time it has undergone some context editing. Today's NY Times, that bastion of Democrat succor, did publish an article critical of the Obama's campaign. The gist being that McCain is not the only one guilty of distortion,surprise?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tax increase

My figures on the possible tax increase for the average household in the coming year may be due to some confusion on my part due to the acoustics in the City Hall Library. The overall dollar increase I wrote are to the best of my recollection actual numbers City Administrator Dasheild gave in responding to a Councilman's question. He also stated that the average tax was approximately $4,000.00.

Given the percentage increases of 9.5% before State aid and 7.7% after the dollar increase would be based on a $4000.00 tax, $380. or $308 respectively. Not the $240-195 range that I wrote. My dollar numbers are in line with the $191.13 increase in the Courier article.That number with the percentages given in the article would mean an average tax bill of $2481.00.

Perhaps the 3.7 points given was not the increase, but rather the new tax rate or an increase of 0.13 points over this years 3.57 rate. this would calculate correctly.

To paraphrase another eminent local blogger, the mathematics speaks for itself.

Since can't work the correct numbers, I am willing to publish all corrective reponsives. Otherwise I hope that very shortly there will be available numbers that will clear up MY confusion.

Until then I am certain of one fact;not until the school budget's tax rate and the County's tax numbers appear no one will know how much more property taxes we will have to pay next year. We can be sure that New Jersey's hold on the highest property taxes in the country is not in jeopardy.


It has been several days since I posted any of my old photos. I thought that two sites of a meso-America civilization that failed perhaps because of poor economic management and natural phenomena. The experts do not have a acceptable clue. The only factor they haven't question is any Republican/Democrat(new) role.

The first picture is from the Mayan period in the Yucatan. This is the greater ceremonial pyramid at Chicken Itza. The next two are views of the earlier pyramid at Tikal in the jungles of Guatemala .The final shot should be self explanatory, the photographer did not reach the sacrificial alter.

Note the broad not too steep steps.

This earlier design was much steeper, the steps narrower. It was not poor architectural design but subsequent rulers built over their predecessors construction and tomb.
What was I doing up there? Temporary ( I hope) insanity could have been the only explanation. The steps were well worn and the chain a necessity to navigate the climb. This was from only about a third of the way to the sacrificial altar. Enough was enough.


JG's blog on Plainfield crime is of interest. On Sept 19 he wrote We're Winning the War on Crime.

I made note of this boast at the end of an unrelated article on the 22nd ; How much is factual and what is political gas is a question. I hope to find a copy of the slides shown during the August "town meeting" for review. If I remember correctly there was a significant improvement in homicides from 2006 to 2007, but there were 2 in the first 6 months of 2008 versus 4 in all of 2007; no change. As to overall crimes there was a 15% reduction 2006 to 2007 but prorated there will be an increase of of 22.5% on the prorated 6 months 2008 numbers. If this holds true that will be greater than the peak 2006 year. As I noted these numbers must be checked or brought up to date.

After reviewing the data on the presentation charts, my numbers stand.

In this Tuesday's (23rd) Star Ledger there is an article on crime with a table on page 22 (Union County edition}comparing the Union County Municipalities for 2007. The Plainfield overall crime rate was 39.2/1000 second only to Elizabeth.Violent crime was 10.2/1000 by far the worse in the county. Murder 4,rape, Robberies 240,. Indeed the only municipalities to challenge Elizabeth and Plainfield were Hillside and Linden.

Despite Green's assurances,crime is still rampant in Plainfield. The smashing of the local gangs was a county/state operation aided by the local police, not as a result of the Assemblyman's or
Mayor's initiative.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Last night the Council received the proposed 2009 year budget before a packed City Hall library. Unfortunately due to a throat irritation I was forced to leave early in the meeting. Therefore Plainfied Plaintalker and probably Councilman Burney's blog will be more informative.

This is just the beginning of the process that will hopefully end before the present council dissolves.

While I was there I was encouraged by City Administrator Dashield's introduction and comments on the scope of the budget. He noted that it was a performance based document using results from 2008 and expectations for 2009. As a full year of new data is acquired the factors determining the the development of the next budget will expand. For once there seems to be acceptable management tools in place and we may be getting our "bucks worth".

The one sad but expected note is that there will be a 3.7 points increase in the tax rate before State aid monies can be factored in. That will be approximately for the average homeowner a high 0f $240 to q possible low of $195 per household. This increase is due to mandated costs from pension plan payments, health insurance and contracted salary raises. Unfortunately, as you are aware the school tax bill and the county taxes are additional.

Also encouraging was Director of Administration Finance, Health, and Social Services Peck's presentation on remedial work done to remedy faults found in the auditors reviews of the city financing. Again business practices are being instituted to monitor and systematize purchasing practices.

Tonight it seems possible that by the time the budget is adopted it will be one we can live with without compromising essential services.

"Plainfield finally gets a break"

So says today's Courier editorial. I fail to see it. I commented on the news article several days ago and intend to make a further comment this weekend pending clarification of what has been suggested.

Jerry's Page Today Again

Disappointment, my reaction not to Jerry's latest blogging , but rather to the fact that two other superior local blogs have more than adequately responded to his latest verbal mishmash.

At least for once JG has absolved the McWilliams administration of villainy. Instead he is attacking the civil service system-which is designed to protect civic appointees from political shenanigans-as well as the unions for a perceived personal attack upon the almighty Green.

Jerry for once is right. The code enforcement agency and the various inspection agencies have been accused in the past of targeting certain individuals while turning their backs on violations by others. No investigation was ever ordered by the city as to the validity of complaints against these city agencies. After all the targets were "trouble makers" whose only interest was to improve Planfield's image.

However, should not any investigation of impropriety by the building inspector be conducted by the County Prosecutor's or the State Attorney General, or the Federal District Attorney?

The Democrat/Democrat city party chairman seems to be oblivious to charges that on his watch there have been suggestions of excessive nepotism or patronage in the allocating of city government jobs.Forgotten are the vendettas against those who would oppose him. There have been episodes when for expediency the city charter has been ignored.

I sincerely hope that the Assemblyman continues to publish his blog. Like the late night commedians, this blogger and some others need an ongoing source of material.


A few months ago I read a book whose title I can't recall about the effect of trade, unrestricted or restricted, on civilizations and nations from the earliest days of history to the half century after WWII. Free trade and attempts for extremely controlled trade were discussed. Either one, if unyielding in controls end in disasters. Likewise, unrestricted capitalism or managed socialism usually after a period of time end in economic collapse, often with internal warfare. Those are lessons we have not learned.

I am not an economic "maven" nor a political genius, but that will not stop me from a few comments about today's crisis and I sure with further expansion in the near future. Bear with me even if this is rambling since the subject is not conducive to concise thinking.

I can't fantasize 700 Billion dollars. My calculator (it is an abacus) doesn't have enough 000s. Having been a tween/teen in the Great Depression, I know that we we can't afford to have another Banking Catastrophe. Congress must act and both the Democrats who control both houses and the Republicans have to forget petty politics or personal constituency money grabs.

Yet at the Senate hearings some Democrats have been outspoken in their opposition apparently being driven more by politics them concern for the country. If they sit o n their butts without offering and enacting some effective positive rescuing plan, their party may escape hurt this election but will be completely destroyed by the time of the next Congressional elections.

Both Obama and McCain rightly so agree on one principle; control of the allocation of the funds can not be in the hands of one man, there must be a small bipartisan group charged with total responsibility.

I repeat, history has shown that neither 100% free enterprise nor a 100% regulated economy can last, no matter what the so called "brains" spout.Yes we will need stricter supervision over those that rule our markets and corporations, as well as those who manipulate our money.

I certainly hope that whoever is the policy maker of whatever type structure Congress enacts will have the guts to at the minimum demand the return of the golden parachute monies and the obscene bonuses that the corporation executives have received in the past two years, especially those that have failed or become bankrupt or have had to be bailed out.

Although it will not remedy this crisis, I am happy to hear that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating the probability of criminal action leading up to the collapse of the financial giants.

But it is not only a rescue of Wall Street and the Bankers, but the salvation of all those retirees who have their sole resources in pension plans, mutual funds or even so called blue chip stocks. They can become destitute if the meltdown is allowed to expand.

Those who are still working stand a great likely hood of being jobless as companies fail more mortgages will be defaulted and the snowballing will continue and soon there will again be bread lines.

There must be a plan to rescue those who were persuaded to purchase homes using mortgages that they did not understand. Perhaps a government backed extension of the duration of the mortgage at a acceptable rate of interest would be one solution. Perhaps this could be tied in to the programs suggested below.

I would hope that at least as part of a temporary solution the legislation will provide for some form of 21st century PWA and WPA programs. With good controls the country's deteriorating infer structure can be restored. And those who would and could work will b e employed gainfully.

Again a word of caution, these projects can be an open invitation for grafters and other crooks. The administrators mus be ever vigilant.

I am not being a scaremonger for personal gain. On the contrary I can remember well the past and fear its reemergence.

We are at a point that the longer government waits the surer that we are going to have a disaster of the proportions of 1929-through the 30s. We did stabilize toward the end of that period but it took the start of WWII in Europe to initiate a new prosperity.I don't think that the people desire that, but false leaders will amass large number of followers and be this generation's Hitlers. Frightening!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Today's blog is going to be late in posting. I had started on an erudite explanation of the needs to solve today's economic crisis when thank goodness both Jerry Green and his blog along with today's Courier came to your rescue.

The headline "Plainfield may run panel; Group to address Muhlenberg fallout" is attention getting. But what is the significance? The Commissioner now wants to shift the responsibility of monitoring and perhaps making suggestions about Solaris' performance after the ill advised murder of Plainfield's health care potentialities. If the composition of the so called "Community Advisory Group remains the same as Howard proposed with the only exception being that the fox is no longer in charge of the hen house , but instead the politicians who failed to try to avert the Muhlenberg debacle will select the prescribed membership. There will be little public activist representation on this purely bureaucratic committee.

Not until the Commissioner actively forces Solaris to provide the means for an acute hospital on the Muhlenberg site, whether through sale or reopening 120 beds with all support services will there be any change that will benefit the community. The appeal must be forced without any undue delay.

Jerry Green newest blog about Muhlenberg is again political spin, flim flam, and nonsense. He can not resist castigating those who politically do not kowtow to the resident almighty. From today's blog:
"Leaders such as Cory Storch, and Dan Damon would rather play politics and drag their feet with this issue as opposed to helping to overcome this damaging blow to the community. They would rather participate in childish antics of accusing the mayor and council, embarrassing the city, diverting attention from the dire matters at hand: the securing of what is left of our medical facility and the strengthening of our bonds of community after this staggering blow. It is time for them to straighten up, to listen, and to be more attentive to the voice of you, the voice of the people, the voices of the city of Plainfield. I hear those voices;"

Dan Damon does "play" politics in his blog. After all he was manager for a slate that defeated your hand picked candidates in the primary. He also was the spokesperson for the McWilliam's administration which had challenged your party leadership. How unpatriotic. Councilman Storch was a Mcilliamsite, and has not always been a party player during the Green/Briggs administration. Jerry , glass houses are very fragile.

The next quote if sincere is factual:

"The more heat for them (Solaris and Commissioner Howard?) the better, because the appeals and grievances we filed are not to slow or delay any process; they are to ensure the progress of efficiency and benefit for us, the community of Plainfield, in the realm of health care, treatment, and oversight. "

The only satisfactory benefit is the reopening of an acute care facility. It will not be of the caliber of the deceased MRMC but will be able to meet the areas basic needs.

And finally, I can not resist comparing this observation with the hairs on my cats' back when frightened or feeling threatened:
"The hairs on my arms were up because of the passion of you, the city of Plainfield."

It stretches my imagination, but fear and passion may be emotions with similar reactions.

The Great Terminalator

Tuesday Sept 23:I suggest that we rename Dan Damon as the 'Great Terminalator".On his "Clips" site he now has links to 13 local blogs. I am sure that he has missed some and am looking forward for the number to increase as we get nearer to election time.

I am certain that in the nest 13 months several of the new blogs will go galley west. I hope the Councilmen/woman will continue to keep the public informed.I, for one, am interested in their position on controversial issues facing the city, and if it differs from their vote, why?

I had intended to comment on the "Bailout" but it became too complicated and the hour was late so that will wait. Also, not only have the Money Movers blown it and, I am afraid that the politicians will do the same, but both the Yankees and the Mets have blown it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Town's Racial Relations History

This has been copied from the Charlottesville Daily Progress and was published: September 19, 2008.

Honestly, I was going to rest the blog today but 2 items are worthy of comments and sharing. I found this newspaper article published 9/19/08 in he Charlottesville, Virginia Daily Progress of interest because it indicates the status of racial relations in the Southern States as late as the mid 50s. Less we forget, racial intolerance extended until well past the 67/68 riots in the North. Sadly, intolerance is still with us although in urban and suburban areas the roles are often reversed. It would be a shame that if in this Presidential election intolerance and prejudice are determining factors. The article;

"It’s a shameful scar in Charlottesville’s history — but locals who attended a commemoration marking the 50th anniversary of Massive Resistance to school integration said that piece of history should not be forgotten.

The ceremony was held Friday on the Downtown Mall, where speakers and several dozen attendees reflected on the effect Massive Resistance has had on Charlottesville.

“I think if we want to build a better future, we have to look at the sicknesses of our past that might still be lingering on,” said attendee Erin Nourse, a University of Virginia graduate student studying African religions.

In 1958, a federal judge ordered that black students be admitted into Charlottesville schools —10 at Venable Elementary School, and two at Lane High School.

Opposing integration, the Virginia General Assembly enacted Massive Resistance laws, allowing the governor to close schools rather than integrate. Lane and Venable were closed on Sept. 19, 1958, and were not reopened until Feb. 4, 1959, after the federal court and Virginia Supreme Court declared Massive Resistance laws unconstitutional.

“It was a reasonably unique situation to Charlottesville,” said George Gilliam, who teaches Virginia history at UVa. “The teachers for those schools were still on the public payroll, and so the parents whose kids were affected, or some of them, got together and they opened up their basements or their TV rooms” for teachers to conduct classes.

Friday’s commemoration included speakers, music and a wreath-laying to honor black families who sued to have their children integrated into white schools.

Four years ago, the 50th anniversary of Brown v. the Board of Education was celebrated, former Councilor Kendra Hamilton said, but the Massive Resistance anniversary “was in danger of passing” without notice.

“More than 1,700 students were thrown on the streets … all because 12 little boys and girls and their parents had claimed their constitutional right to an equal education under the law,” said Hamilton, who co-organized the commemoration.

“I say we engage and defeat the modern-day manifestations of Jim Crow when we come to together and dare to remember together,” Hamilton said.

Gilliam shares the sentiment. “If you don’t realize how hard it was and how mean and angry the fights were to get these rights, you don’t appreciate the rights,” Gilliam said. “Unless you know that patriots have spilled blood, you don’t appreciate the revolution.”'

JG's blog on Plainfield crime is of interest. How much is factual and what is political gas is a question. I hope to find a copy of the slides shown during the August "town meeting" for review. If I remember correctly there was a significant improvement in homicides from 2006 to 2007, but there were 2 in the first 6 months of 2008 versus 4 in all of 2007; no change. As to overall crimes there was a 15% reduction 2006 to 2007 but prorated there will be an increase of of 22.5% on the prorated 6 months 2008 numbers. If this holds true that will be greater than the peak 2006 year. As I noted these numbers must be checked or brought up to date.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


The first day of Fall is here. If the number of leaves that have already fallen is an indication, we are in for a cold winter.However we will have more beautiful days like this past weekend.

Unless or until I have a brainstorm, I have no succinct comments about newspaper columnists, bloggers, national, international happenings except that we must be ever viligent. This will do for today.

Red face department: In a recent comment to another blog I used the word manor, of course I meant manner.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Duplicate of lost Post

I must concede that he "Taliban" is still very powerful and the posting that they kidnapped is still out there somewhere. Since I have received no ransom request perhaps due to the caliber of these 1973 pictures, I can not anticipate recovering the first posting.Therefore This is a repeat of the lost one. Probably the first post I sent on this blog was the picture of the larger of the two giant Buddhas which were destroyed by religious fanaticism. I wrote a comment at that time and for some unknown reason to me, that post still appears at the bottom of my page.

These four photos show the cliff with the many monk's caves located adjacent to where the statues stood, two views of the Bamyian valley with the snow covered Hindu Kush mountains in the background, and the smaller of the two Buddhas which was undergoing some repair. It had suffered major damage over the centuries.


Bad news or good news, for me the bad news comes first.
Last night after theMets regained 1st place for at least 24 hours, I sat down and wrote a small explanation of the four photographs of Bamyian taken in the 70s. I had pressed the save key and apparently that had worked OK. Next I scheduled the posting for this am and as usual pressed the "Publish Post" key. Nothing different from my procedure for the past four months.

BUT, when I went back to make a slight alteration (edit) the post was no where to be found. Somewhere the image of the smaller of the two Taliban destroyed Great Buddhas of Bamyian is wandering now lost in cyberspace. Who would think that the intolerance of a malevolent Theocracy would extend to my computer.

Be forewarned, that we must always be on our guard of our civil liberties so that no "book burnings" or ethnic or religious hate acts are permitted here.

The good news is according to today's (9/20/08) Courier, the Muhlenberg Foundation remains independent of Solaris. I believe that the Foundation was created around 1977 when there was an unbundling of Muhlenberg Hospital for tax purposes, in order to create some money loosing for profit enterprises. To know that the fund allocations will be used for local health care agencies is gratifying. Let us hope that it is continued to be used wisely. Perhaps the Foundation can hel[p bring a new Muhlenberg into existence.

Friday, September 19, 2008

COMMENT ON "Muhlenberg"

One of the great satisfaction a blogger has is he/she (politically correct) can pontificate and proclaim a biased view like a newspaper columnist. I prefer to delude myself that I have no biases. Since I know of no one in their 8th decade who is without any "sin" that can not be true.

We bloggers do have an option that columnists don't and do not want. We can and do receive comments on the Internet email. These comments are not always laudatory indeed some can be downright nasty. We have the option of publishing them or sending them to the virtual circular file.

I have and will publish under the postings comments everyone I receive with the exception of the rare one from anonymous that reveals "its" severe character fault. Some I will even answer by my own comment. A few like this one and another recent email deserve presenting with my comments as a separate posting. I have copied one such and my reply from yesterday's "Muhlenberg" post, and published there.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous here again. Tell me my friend, what proof does the Courier and for that matter you or the activists have that Muhlenberg was killed for political reasons? Was every hospital closing in the state killed for the same reason? Are you saying economics had nothing to do with any closing in an urban area? Seriously, do you really believe this?

September 18, 2008 5:16 PM

Blogger olddoc said...

Dear "Anonymous here again", You asked four questions. There will never be any hard proof that politics did not enter into which hospital of the Solaris group would be closed. If there had to be areduction of hospital beds in the Solaris service area politically which one would you pick? The one with the superior care record or the one that because of location would not need state funds to care for an under-insured population.Yes economics drives political choices especially when it is assumed that it will not cost voters.All the other urban hospital closings were not as area catastrophic because there were very close easily accesible alternatives. In NEWARK the state has provided funding to St Michaels the survivor and of course the University Hospital with all of its financial corruption.

If there were too many beds, then why is JFK applying for funding to build 60 more "private" beds. " Private" means beds that will be occupied by patients with insurance.

The DHSS's whole process involved in Muhlenberg's closing smells to the high heavens.That's political.

On another important subject; I published on 9/3/08, 9/6/08, and 9/16/08 three postings about immunizations from this physicians viewpoint. If you missed them my egotism suggests that you read them.


Received this comment to my Post 'Meetings"
Is there a sufficient number of Muslims in the Plainfield to justify a school holiday? It looks to me as if the City Council decided to add this holiday on the whim of one member who happens to be a Muslim. Doesn't seem to be the way we should be making decisions.

This comment ,I believe was in response to one of a series of questions I had written:"On the subject of religious Holy Days, how many Islamic students are in the school system?"

In a rare defense of the City Council, that was not their action but that of the BOE. I had posed the question out of curiosity about Plainfied's ethnic/religious mix. I had also queried;" Are there any Greek Orthodox Christian children or those of other faiths?" I think the answers would be of interest.

If we were to justify closing the school system for religious reasons per se, that would perhaps be a violation of the "separation of state and religion" principle. If we were to consider a child's sensitivity as to be singled out as "different", one child would suffice. Of course that would be ridiculous, both economically and programmatic. Perhaps a minimum number of affected students could be the determinant. If there are 6000 students in the system,5% or 300 might impact a sufficient number of classrooms.

Moreover I had other questions that I know deserve answers: "Does the School system have a record of religious affiliation? Is it a conflict (violation)of law to keep such a record?"

One final comment;I wrote that posting because I find it disturbing when public officials have no consideration or knowledge of or desire to accommodate their constituents. Plainfield could start to become a better city if in the school system an effort was made to obtain and use the Southern Poverty Law Center's free materials on tolerance.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


For Dan; two views of the real Lincoln Memorial and two very old deteriorating views from it looking at you know what.

The serious stuff comes later if/when I can find it in computer never never land.


The latest state report on hospitals (year 2007) again demonstrates that DHSS would close a superior hospital in favor of one that not only delivers poorer care but does not wish to serve the population the closed hospital did.( In all four categories Muhlenberg far outperformed JFK in three, and in one they were equal. Neither Overlook or Somerset's overall performances were superior to Muhlenberg's

AS today's Courier (9/18/08) notes; Muhlenberg was killed for political reasons, and the likely hood of reopening it or replacing it as an acute care facility is practically zero. The only acceptable compromise is a fully acute care capable emergency facility with all support services and personnel, not the doc in the box that is now in place. The city should demand and accept nothing less.

Muhlenberg might have been saved by political pressure which our area Assembly and State Senate representatives as well as Plainfield's local government refused to apply. We will never know their true motivation but it could not be their constituents vital interests.

There were a few concerned citizens who argued from the day the news first became public, before any of the sham "public hearings", that political action was the only answer. As the saying goes " A prophet is without honor in his country". I believe that is paraphrased from Luke 4:24.

There is almost certainly no remedial action we can still take that will bring back the hospital and our health care. We can and should take punitive measures at this and the next election time against those that put their self interests above those of the public they supposedly serve and make certain that those individuals no longer hold office.

Non Controversial

Too early in the morning to assume the role of "The Angry Man". Instead 3 exterior and one interior view of the Jefferson monument in DC. Also the building it was modeled after; the Rotunda at the University of Virginia designed by TJ himself. This is not the original building which was destroyed by fire in the late 19th century. It was rebuilt with some alterations by Sanford White to the original specifications.There have been some interior alterations as it has served as the University Library, classrooms,administrative offices, ball room over the years.

A correction; I am never wrong sometimes I make a slight error and must admit to it. This is of course hearsay since I do not have visual confirmation, but my son, the doctor, told me that he and his wife rode on the Spanish Cable Car at Niagara within the last two years. It ain't dead. Let us hope we can say that about Muhlenbeg.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Ignorance, not insensitivity. I am sure that no body in the City government thought that Monday evening Sept 29 was the beginning of one of the two most important Jewish Holydays. There will probably be less than a handful who would have attended the Agenda Setting Session, but for religious reasons will be absent. Fortunately the progressive wheels of civic government will roll on. No apology is needed. On the subject of religious Holydays, how many Islamic students are in the school system. Are there any Greek Orthodox Christian children or those of other faiths? Does the School system have a record of religious affiliation? Is it a conflict of law to keep such a record? Interesting questions that should be answered.

Regarding conflicts, what will happen if the Shade Tree Commission's meeting last more than 30 minutes from its scheduled time Sept 24. Apparently, although there has been no official notice except a verbal one from the Council President and one on Councilman Burney's blog the 2009 budget will b e acted upon at a special 8pm meeting in the City Hall Library. Does the right hand check with the left?

Weep for Plainfield

I hope that I am not "the last angry man". There must be many others in Plainfield who entertain concerns similar to mine about Plainfield.

The once proud "Queen City" once a desirable place to live with a high quality educational system recognized as one of the best in the country can now boast of having, according to Tuesday's papers, the only (lone) high school in the state to receive a "persistently dangerous" designation. What an honor.

Tuesday's Courier's editorial blasts Plainfield's government for its secrecy policy intended to keep the people uninformed. A political vendetta had removed the Police Chief from office with a new ordinance abolishing the position. Another ordinance was enacted to create a position of civilian director of the Police. The Chief was immediately replaced with the administration's civilian appointee. An independent hearing officer threw out all but two minor inconsequential charges of out of all used to justify his dismissal. This news was not made public.

There is apparently in place an unwritten policy to withhold, even deny access to, information relating to crime in the city. Only those so public that they cannot be hidden are reported in the news media. This seems to be a new and recent policy.

About 40 years ago when the Democrats and Mayor Lattimore for the first time replaced a hereditary Republican party, Plainfield was still a desirable although troubled municipality to live in. Rick Taylor who had been a very active advocate for change declared that ' Plainfield was now our City".

The Republicans have faded from the scene and for years we have had a one party stranglehold on the city with of course to the expense of the taxpayer, supportative patronage. There have been a few ill conceived attempts by individuals to seize party control, but the astute politicians in the mold of Jersey City's Frank Hague or Chicago's Mayor Daley have been able to overcome any temporary setbacks.

Today, Plainfield can rival the worse in the state. Our school systems for years has been in turmoil, with frequent changes in leadership and continued changes in direction. There have been questions about the wisdom and even the necessity of certain large expenditures. Hopefully, the latest changing of the guard will bring about true reformation.

Years ago the city sold its sewer utility for about $9 million dollars. There has been no real accounting of where that money went. The city had numerous bank accounts that the use and/or transferring of monies between them were difficult to follow. There was even a question if the accountants were aware of all the separate bank accounts, spread over different institutions.

40 years has brought about a city whose roads now resemble those in a war zone. Potholes go years without repairs. There are no intact streets. Programs to replace the worst pavements have been delayed or abandoned. Newly paved roads such as South Avenue or Woodland developed structural damage within a few years of replacement. Contractors and utilities that must "open" the street are not held accountable for shoddy resealing. Many drivers in Plainfield have to replace tires due to sidewall damage from the road conditions. Add to that the costs of realignments and the true costs of living here is far greater then he taxes would suggest.

The once busy magnet area downtown shopping district today is a shambles of low quality stores that do not attract people into the city. The city has lost its hospital. Although most home owners through pride have significantly upgraded their properties there exists too many areas of blight. There are too many signs of vagrancy and too often the main streets appear littered with trash.

Negativism will not restore Plainfield to a desirable community. There is a large core of citizens that are unhappy with the present political leadership who often seem just to pay lip service to the city's needs. That core is disorganized and needs direction.

Changes in the local party in the past have only seem to result in just changes of names and bodies in the slots. More is needed. What is required is a Collation of all those interested in Plainfield's reemergence. A nucleus has been formed for the hospital; however there must be strong leadership with the ability to defer when required to individual groups needs. Those groups must work with others even if it means abandoning some of their own agendas. Divided the people have no power, united they can accomplish miracles.

Such a collation must take the form of an "Independent Reform"political party like the one that overthrew Tammy and elected LaGuardia. The job will be to find the leadership who will be able to maintain a group long enough for complete local political reform. Perhaps the millennium will occur.