Saturday, December 31, 2011
The Nation of Islam whose groups including the one in Plainfield has been listed among 47 known hate groups in New Jersey by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This sect is not only a dedicated Black Separatist advocate but its leadership have been outspoken anti-Semites.
By the rights given to all of us in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, its membership has the right of free speech just as members of the Aryan Nation (Neo-Nazi), or one of the two known Klu Klux Klan, or the AC Skins (Racist Skinheads). They overstep the boundaries when they incite personal injury or damage to property including rioting.
I am an advocate for religious and racial tolerance and equality. For that reason I have supported the work of the SPLC for decades. I also besides contributions to organizations of my faith have proudly contributed to the MLK in Washington DC, as well as the NAACP and various Interfaith focused organizations.
For those who do not know; the Southern Poverty Law Center has been the leading “prosecutor” and bringing to justice those individuals and groups who have committed crimes against black Americans including those who have bombed churches and committing lynchings not only in the South but anywhere in this nation
SPLC has worked ceaselessly to promote Tolerance and provides free material to be used in school systems. It would be beneficial to our local troubled society if our local school system would take advantage of such material and training.
This Congregation stands for everything that is desirable in the worship of a supreme being. They are a most positive element of our nation's society. We need and welcome their input in to our civic and social life.
My apology also goes to the members of the Plainfield Common Council for accusing them of inviting a member of a bigot group to participate in their agenda.
I thank those who pointed out my erroneous impression and permitted me to correct a grievous injustice.
Court decisions have upheld that any prayer or appeal to “God” is forbidden by the Constitution thus the law. The reason is that it may be offensive to even a single citizen including atheists and agnostics. Thus even non-sectarian prayer is in violation of this nation’s Constitution.
However, nonsectarian prayer is often tolerated because of its generic nature which can be applicable to all of most monolithic religious beliefs. But it too is illegal and offensive to among others whose faith may be among others: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Baha’i Faith, Shinto and even the very small groups such as Scientology or Zoroastrianism.*
Never the less the agenda for Tuesday's meeting shows that the Council in complete disregard of the Constitution has chosen to invite representatives of two faiths to give an Invocation.
I have removed a portion of the original posting because it was not relevant to the individual that was the trigger for this blog. I am posting it subsequently today deleting any reference to any one person and slightly edited.
I am expressing my concerns locally; but it would be another further embarrassment to Plainfield if someone would involve the ACLU or the SPLC or the ADL in a public exposure of this violation of the law.
*A list of 40 of the Worlds organized religions can be found at: www.religioustolerance.org/
Friday, December 30, 2011
It is obvious that politicians have a different standard as to wrong doing than us common folks. They can find new and unique ways of trying to avoid responsibility for the errors in their ways..
Ron Paul, a Republican published several newsletters in the’80s and ’90s with names like the Ron Paul Survival Report and the Ron Paul Political Report. The newsletters interspersed libertarian political and investment commentary with racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and far-right paranoia. Among other offensive statements, the newsletters said that 95 percent of Washington’s black males were criminals, and they described the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as “Hate Whitey Day.”
However Paul ignoring the fact the news letters are published in his name; is now claiming that someone else, not he wrote those columns and he never saw them before publication.
The most prominent Democrat in the United States President Clinton when accused of improper action while in the White House remarked: “I did not have sex with that woman”, “How do you define the word sex?” .
Clinton was only the second President* to face impeachment charges heard by the Senate and “prosecuted by a committee from the House of Representatives. President Andrew Johnson was the first. In both cases the Senate did not have the necessary 2/3 majority vote to impeach.
Mayor Robinson-Briggs in her December 21 press release wrote “I am thankful that he (the Independent Investigator) was able to exonerate me and my administration and staff by recognizing that there was no criminal act done”
Madam Mayor that statement equates with Ron Paul and President Clinton’s attempts to "exonerate" themselves from wrong doing.
The Independent Investigator was charged only to determine if there was any improper actions relating to the WBLS affair, not to prefer “charges”. His findings were (quote).”The funds which resulted in payment of the WBLS invoice were issued on July 30, 2010, two days prior to the Town Hall Meeting occurring. Clearly, although the purchase order was signed by the Mayor, David Spaulding and the Department Director from the IT Department, the services were not provided before the check was cut. Therefore, the Mayor, David Spaulding and the IT Department Director violated the law by certifying that services had been received for the WBLS event prior to the event actually occurring.
In addition, the budgeted line item where the funds were taken was the Information Technology Hardware/Software Maintenance line item. That line item was not the appropriate line item to pay for a Town Hall Meeting. Bob Swisher, the City Auditor, confirmed that this was not the appropriate line item and that the City Council should have acted, if requested, to move the funds to the appropriate budget line item for payment of these services.”
I know that I may not be as wise as you, Madam Mayor; but to me those words seem to be an inditement of at least improper if not illegal action and not an exculpation.
It will be the Council’s responsibility when it accepts the Investigator’s report to decide what action to pursue: it may request a criminal investigation by the State or County Prosecutor, It can do nothing or only issue a reprimand as recommended by the Investigator which is an equivalent of doing nothing.
The Council by Charter can remove any employee who it feels committed an illegal act.
The Mayor also in her Press release made some comments which border on libel. This blog is too long to go into those issues at this time.
*Nixon resigned before charges could be filed. He most likely would have been convicted. He was later absolved of any wrong doing by Ford.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tomorrow, great grand children will leave and perhaps come back on Memorial weekend. Sick Mick, who has never been bothered by the kids or Shootsie (Australian Sheepdog and a doll) will be able to come out from under the bed without looking over his back.
I may even be able to get back to writing about "matters of the day" and the Jan 3 Iowa Caucuses and Plainfield's Council's reorganization meeting or my take on the Mayor's press release.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
My first indication that something important had occurred came this morning when I read the Courier’s headline: “Report: Plainfield mayor broke law”. The article continues with a summary of the Independent Investigators report of the WLBS financial actions.
The crux of the report, according to the paper, was that the Mayor’s actions involving the funding for the affair which included signing a check for $25,000.00 and moving funds from other line items to cover the check plus using funds from a check designated for the July 4th activities were all in violation of the State Statues.
Yet the Mayor claims the report “exonerates her”. By that I suppose she means that since there is no recommendation for filing criminal charges she did nothing that merit anything more than a suggested “reprimand.
I have not read the report but I am sure that it is limited to just the circumstances involved in the WLBS payment. No mention could be made if this constituted a felony (doubtful in this incident) or a misdemeanor, or just a improper action.
The Council will have to acknowledge receipt of this report at its Jan.3 meeting. What action it will take if any, will without doubt be decided by a 4:3 vote. Not answered is the question if there have been in this Mayor’s period in office other and more serious violations of the law related to financial actions.
Will the Council’s reaction to the report be satisfied with only a reprimand or will it demand an investigation in depth of the City’s finances by the state. What has been the result of years of not filling important fiscal administrative offices? This is the question that must be answered.I like all of you will await matters as they develop.
It is true that for a few weeks the A&P has boxes of Jane Parker cakes, and other markets also may carry their own brand which are nothing more than a poor imitation . Most countries have their own variation of the "fruit cake" as for an example the Italian Pannettone, or Panforte. Gerrmany has its "Stollen" and ours has derived from the old English cake which may have had its origin with the Druids.
Perhaps what made the old American Cake [popular was the tradition of "soaking " it in Rum or other alcoholic beverages until it reach a degree of respectability.
In the 50s through the early 60s the Plainfield Lions Club prime source of funds came from the sale of Benson's Fruit Cakes. Since we had sort of a quota to sell I had a reserve supply that would last well into the next year. Those caked could be prepared.
Similarly, mincemeat pies can be traced back to the Crusaders who brought them back from the east. They oft en had a religious significance being associated with the "church. Thus Mincemeat pies were banned for a time in England during the reformation.
As the name suggests the original recipes called for "mincemeat's" which were preserved with spices. The fruits were an added supplement. My mother in law who grew up on a farm in Highland County Virginia used to make a great pie. Today's fruit concoctions when you can get them are an abomination. Her pies served with a scoop of ice cream with or without a local still proof beverage was heaven.
And, not to be forgotten are Latkes. Not the out of the box mix but the real homemade from scratch pancakes with fine grated potatoes and minced onions a little garlic and whatever spice the secret called for all held together by the egg. Another lost art to Streits etc.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The significance and meaning of (C)Hanukka, Christmas. Orthodox Christmas, or Kawanzaa is special for various segments of our society but all should be a celebration of spirit for everyone
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This article referred to in Tuesday's "CLIPS" points out to some of the problems of saddling the future with debt because our leadership is seduced by innovated schemes without thoroughly investigating the pros and cons. Passaic County rethinks solar panel project"
Isn't it nice to know that in a minute way you have become a legend. There are in various countries "reenacters" similar to groups here that try to recreate Revolutionary or Civil War actions or units. There are similar units of 17th Airborne Reactersin in England and Belgium.
Since it never was in Czechoslovakia I am at a loss why they adopted my division rather than the two more famous 82nd or the 101 who got stuck at Bastogne.
The one in England holds a memorial every year at the airdrome where a Horsa Glider crashed killing 23 members of my battalion including my commanding officer and the unit dentist. I was supposed to be on that flight but got bumped. Instead I was stuck with having to identify the bodies.
Monday, December 19, 2011
If only things were similar in DC where this time the House Republicans are posturing by rejecting the temporary extension of the payroll tax reduction , Perhaps Charles De Gaulle was right when he said " I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians."
The are certain givens in life; among them are (1) service people either never show at the appointed time or if given a 6 hour window will arrive at hour 5:59. (2) Computers whether desktops, laptops, smart? telephones. automobiles etc will always develop a glitch that can't be fixed. In my car I get false reports on emissions or other functioning units like a DCS fault. Reprogramming it doesn't work and the solution of replacing means losing an arm but keeping the leg.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The big news in this calm peaceful world was late developing; North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the mercurial strongman extolled at home as the “Dear Leader” and reviled abroad as a tyrant, has died at 69, In September 2010, Kim announced that his foreign-educated third son, Kim Jong Eun, would succeed him as the regime’s third leader since its emergence more than a half century ago. This is the Times released. http://www.nytimes.com/?emc=na Click on the headline and the entire article will be readable.
WE will not know for a while if the transition is marred by internal bloodshed. Perhaps the North Koreans will be less active in their threats to the world, or on the other hand an adventurer may seize the reins. Time will tell.
The good news is that until the Iowa Caucus on Jan. 3rd , I will not be expressing my opinion on the candidates. The exception would of course be some extra ordinary news. In fact perhaps for a Tues day report on the Council my time for blogging will be limited until 2012.
This OP-ED in Sunday's Times is worth the visit; it is a light headed analysis of the personality of our prominent politicians Op-Ed Columnist: Self-Adoration Reaches Newt Heights; Op-Ed
Also worth the time read : Columnist: Repressing Democracy, With American Arms
Did you know that there is an active group of Centralist's Americans Elect, who are trying to get o the ballot in all 50 states for a third party candidate. They intend to do the ground work and then find someone with appeal to run. This may severely impact on election results and has both partys worried.
Our attention on Congress has been drawn to the funding the government, now extended for another two months before the next crisis, as well as the payroll tax cut. Last minute temporary staying the 27.5% cut in Medicare reimbursement once again marks Congress’s political bickering and lack of any intent to accomplish anything positive before the important 2012 elections with both party’s hoping to have absolute control of the Country’s destiny for at least the next 2 years.
Lost in the fog of DC politics is the castration of the NLRB. This OP-Ed column Crippling the Right to Organize - NYTimes.com from the Times explains its significance, and throws some of the blame on the President’s actions. Surprisingly we have heard little from organized labor.
The important thing to note is that although by Presidential edicts mainly in the Bush years; the NLRB board’s powers have been restricted. However to the point there are two vacancies that have not been filled and the chances are they will not be filled. A third Board member’s term is up Dec31, 2011. If none of these vacancies are filled the NLRB will not have enough members to constitute a legal quorum. Without a quorum the Supreme Court has ruled a Board cannot legally function.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Unless Dan's shoe is dropped this meeting should be swift and short.
Thanks to Dottie G. this lnk to the Times will give an excellent overview of the "GOP would-bes"
The Loyal Opposition: Beyond Eeny Meeny Miny Moe: Sorting Out the G.O.P. Field
Another link that those interested in the Health care laws might find interesting is:
THE SUPREMES V. OBAMACARE: WILL THE COURT DECIDE THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?
Thursday, December 15, 2011
I have been asked "how could I vote for Newt Gingrich?”. If you read what I wrote you will note I never said that I would vote for him! My words were “If I was a registered Republican and voted in the Republican primary" which of course I am not and thankfully would not have to face voting for him at primary time.
Moreover, if he were the Republican Candidate against Obama such an action would be most difficult. I do not like the man and never did. I am trying to be analytical. My ultimate vote will be determined by this country’s foreign policy, as well as the domestic economy. These are not the only issues but are two of the most important. Thankfully November 2012 is still a long time in the future.
I intended to blog on other subjects for Friday but I became aware of the Republican Candidate's Debate on Fox News Cable network about 20 minutes after it started. I am sorry that I missed those 20 minutes since Jon Huntsman once again joined the group. He is one of the more viable Republicans and has had diplomatic experience especially in the Far East (China).
I still feel that when I wrote that Gingrich post; with the exception of Romney; Gingrich overall came across as the most knowledgeable of the then debaters. Tonight Huntsman rejoined the field and he is a person to watch.
Because of the late hour I shall delay a more complete critique of the Debate to later Friday. Also the last minute actions of Congress to keep the Government operating may be a fact.