Friday, September 30, 2005
The place was positively packed. (I had heard how hard it was to get a ticket, then outside there was at least one woman just handing them out. I beleive she was a professor at Kean, maybe some tickets had been distributed to students and faculty and she had extras?) Labor made a big showing, in their orange jerseys, handing out stickers. There were busloads coming in even as late as 5PM. The doors were supposed to shut at 4:30 precisely but of course that didn't happen. I do believe we hit fire-code capacity of the space before they shut the doors. Volunteers handed out lots of bottles of water.
Unfortunately I never met up with the bloggers I was hoping to find; there were entirely too many people there to find people when you don't know what they look like. Instead I sat with the lovely Jackie, from the 25th district. Having never met before, we had lots of time to chat because we got there pretty early and everything started way late. She was carrying a copy of Bill Clinton's My Life, hoping for him to sign it. We discussed our assemblymen; I'm pretty happy with mine, she not so much with hers.
Sen. Corzine spoke first, not a long speech, but to an energetic crowd. If only he had done so well in the debate the other day! Former President Clinton spoke only a little longer. No matter what you think of him, he is an engaging speaker. He had the crowd cheering "Four More Years!" as he took the podium. He spoke glowingly of Corzine (as expected) and of Our Fair State. He mentioned Hillary only briefly but to astounding cheers. He may have been preaching to the faithful but we were on every word.
After the speeches, both men went to the crowd and shook hands, signed autographs. I did not try to shake either man's hand, that seemed very important to many people so I let them push up front, but I got pulled into the crowd and was close enough to see them both as they passed by. Clinton was clearly loving it, ever the politician, shaking hands and listening to everyone. Corzine had had a heck of a day- he'd been in DC in the morning to vote against Roberts and then in AC for some other meeting- but he looked very upbeat (and more than a little hot.) I was separated from Jackie but I hope she got her book signed.
"Forrester is the slimebag of the century." Professor, in line outside before doors open.
"I'm very supportive of Corzine, but we know who is the main attraction." Said of Clinton, by person in bleachers.
"I care about this state. You were good to me." and
"I profoundly admire Jon, your next governor." William Jefferson Clinton
Thursday, September 29, 2005
"But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. "
Well, at least he's aware it's morally reprehensable.
There's some discussion of context on the Media Matters link above. Context always matters, of course, but there's no excuse for saying a ridiculous, horrid, racist thing like that.
I can't fuckin' believe he said that.
(Biggest of many hat tips to Professor Kim)
UPDATE 11:35AM 9/30 From Nordette at NJ Spoken Word: "He knew what he was doing. Consequently, I maintain that he should not apologize. Apologies should be motivated by contrition, not by pressure from opposing groups or political cronies. Besides, I'm glad he said it. I like my exploitative, racist sons of bitches to wear their white sheets proudly. I can see 'em coming better that way. No need to wait for the whites of their eyes.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Monmouth University/Gannet: Corzine 46%, Forrester 38% of 463 LIKELY voters.
Quinnipiac: Corzine 48%, Forrester 44% of 874 LIKELY voters.
That last one is a little too close for my taste. Not to fear, though; the polls are ranging widely. A Star-Ledger/Eagleton/Rutgers poll from Sept. 12 had Corzine up by 18 points, once again of likely voters.
As always, the most interesting statistics in the Quinnipiac poll are not the big ones. For the question "Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate for Governor do you think would do a better job reducing property taxes? " 43% said Forrester, 39% said Corzine. For the question "Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate for Governor do you think would do a better job ending corruption in government? " 40% said Forrester, 38% said Corzine. Corzine placed ahead of Forrester in similar questions about solving the budget crisis, taxes in general, improving transportation and fighting overdevelopment and sprawl.
In other campaign news, Tom Hester reported in The Times of Trenton on Monday that Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Jeff Pawlowski, who earned my admiration by selling certificates of influence for donations and publicity on eBay earlier this year, would be producing a video of his answers to the questions posed in the recent NJN debate. He was kept out of the debate because it wasn't an "official" debate and NJN had editorial privilege to choose whom to invite. (Apparently he wouldn't suffer irreparable harm by not participating in the debate; I guess the court felt that a lack of voter recognition doesn't do irreparable harm to a candidate. Ask Todd Calliguire to comment on that one. Granted, according to that Quinnipiac poll 86% of likely voters didn't even watch.)
Anyway, I emailed the Pawlowski campaign to find out the status of the response tape and have yet to hear back. I am very interested to hear his comments; I'll post about it when there's more info. A third party voice in an election is an important thing and should be heard. (Especially when some are leaving the major parties and may be looking for a place to go.)
Monday, September 26, 2005
There were two reasons for the light showing: one, some folks went to Washington DC to march in opposition to the Iraq war. The story of this protest got kind of lost in the Hurricane Rita news (and now that "Desperate Housewives" is back on and a celebrity couple got married I expect anti-war protests will get pushed out of the main-stream media.) But amid the devastation of another natural disaster in our country, it's important to remember that well over a hundred thousand people in the US spoke out about a disaster we can stop and lives that can be saved.
The second reason there were fewer at Sunday services was the appearance of the Dalai Lama at Rutgers. At least sixty members of the congregation went to hear his presentation. After receiving an honorary degree, the Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke about, well, peace. He urged people to make this the century in which we stop war. From the Times of Trenton:
"You are the new generation of the 21st century," he said. "Your responsibility is to bring peace. My century, the 20th century, was one of bloodshed, but this can be the century of peace."
To achieve this, he said, young people in the United States must develop self-confidence, awareness and a holistic view of the world. "It can't just be America, America, America," he said.
He said Americans must rethink a lifestyle that consumes too many resources compared to the rest of the world.
He offered comfort to students whose questions indicated hopelessness about the world situation, saying the world is becoming a better place.
"The protest here and across the world against the war in Iraq is an encouraging sign," he said. "There is a public movement of people who are concerned about peace and reconciliation."
He said war is expensive, potentially harmful to the entire globe because of today's technology, and an outdated concept because of the interdependence of the global economy.
"This is the new reality," he said. "We and they no longer exist, just we. The destruction of the other is the destruction of the self."
He will be denounced by some. He hates America, they will say, and our patriotism.
How sad, that one whose message is of peace and hope will be criticized and the warmongers will pat themselves on the back.
I'm sorry that so many had to miss services on Sunday morning, and not just because we sang one of my favorite hymns, Morning has Broken, either. The sermon topic was on creation stories and the place of science in religious teaching. It is an important subject this week. In Dover, PA, during the teaching of evolution, a school board official comes into the class to state that evolution is a theory and that there are other theories including Intelligent Design, and that students should keep an open mind. The parents of eight students sued to keep out of the classroom the mention of a religious concept, and the trial starts in a Harrisburg, PA federal court today.
Of course, the school board's words don't jibe with their assertion that Intelligent Design is not a religious teaching. From the LA Times: "Nearly 2,000 years ago, someone died on a cross for us," said board member William Buckingham, who urged his colleagues to include intelligent design in ninth-grade science classes. "Shouldn't we have the courage to stand up for him?" You should stand up for what you believe, Mr. Buckingham, and I'll stand for what I believe. I just don't want your religious tenets taught to my kids in a public school.
If they really want students to keep an open mind, why are there not disclaimers in history class that history is written by the winners, and the losers may have a different interpretation of what happened? How about a disclaimer in physics that we haven't learned everything there is to know yet so there may be some changes in the future? How about teaching Pastafarianism?
I will be watching this trial as closely as the mainstream media allows. The line between church and state is becoming thinner by the day, and it scares me.
It was interesting hearing this issue discussed form the pulpit. The reverend talked about how our interpretations of science and religious teachings have changed over time. Creation myths have been around as long as humans have, and are used to explain what we don't yet understand. Our religion should provide a framework within which we can interpret science and these stories to find our own truths and our own peace. A good message for this Sunday morning.
So, attendance was a little light this Sunday, but the people who could not attend services had a day of hope also. Everyone was looking for their own truths- a clearer vision of our whole world, and peace.
"Peace is not just the mere absence of violence. . . . It is an attitude, a motivation based on compassion. Every action motivated by compassion is peace. Every act motivated by negative emotions like hatred, anger and jealousy is violence." - His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Police estimated today's crowd at 150,000 while organizers estimated 200,000. Amtrak delays (for overhead power line problems) may have held up thousands. A crowd of 10,000 marched in London while 15,000 marched in LA and several thousand rallied in San Francisco. The anti-war protests were planned for the same weekend as the fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, as well as The National Book Festival.
Anti-War demonstators stage day of protest- AP on MSNBC
Thousands Rally against Iraq war- CNN
Thousands protest Iraq war, globalization- The New York Times
Anti-War rally held in Washington- BBC
Anti-War protests commence in Washington- Washington Post
Thousands of Californians protest Iraq war- Los Angeles Times
(cross-posted at Blanton's and Ashton's)
Friday, September 23, 2005
After the debate, Matt Stoller over at the Corzine Connection Blog put up a debate blog wrap-up. (I was a little surprised to be included, because even though I made it clear that am a supporter, I was highly critical of the senator's performance.) I noted that a couple conservative blogs were included also. That's rather fair of a candidate's web site and not what you'd usually expect. So I moseyed over to the Forrester web site to see their wrap-up of the debate.
Oh, there are a few links up to editorials and debate reviews. But there is no forum similar to the Corzine Connection that I found.
I continue to be disappointed by the Forrester campaign. The web site is a bunch of attacks. Even his "policy positions" have lots of attacks included. I reread the Corzine plan pages and they are much less adversarial.
Once again, it seems like Jon Corzine wants to be governor because he has a vision for Our Fair State. Whether you agree with that vision, or all or most or part of it, is up to you; but you can visit his web site to read about it.
Doug Forrester wants to be governor because he doesn't want Jon Corzine to be governor. So if Doug got elected, then what? He can't spend an entire administration being "not-the-other-guy." Doug, stop telling me why I shouldn't vote for Jon Corzine; start telling me why I should vote for you. It's fall campaign season, the time is now.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Today came the reality check, or reality letter as the case may be. JCP&L sent us a letter telling us that they had made a mistake on our bill due to the transfer to the new meter. Our bill actually comes to about $75 for the month instead of $2.18.
This is not really a surprise to us; we've been watching the meter pretty closely for the last few weeks and it sure seemed like we had net usage in excess of $2. It was darned hot that month too, and we had the air conditioning on a whole bunch of days. When something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
It's still a big decrease; last year our summer electric bills were about $225. We still saved a great deal of money because of the solar and have been really happy with it. Now, I have a goal to get our usage down even lower to come as close to the break-even mark as possible.
Oh well. It was good while it lasted.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I just watched Doug Forrester spank Jon Corzine squarely on statewide television.
Holy Christmas! Who in the hell drilled Corzine? Did anyone? He got hammered. He looked like he was stuttering and stalling and wasn't prepared with answers. His repetition of the "$9bil hole in the budget" sounded desperate. He didn't even have a good response for the Carla Katz thing- like THAT wouldn't come up! Even when he was so clearly right he didn't sound it.
He threw in somewhere that the Property Tax rebates would be converted to a credit in the future. That's news to me (and I try to follow these things,) and not in his PDF about his tax plan. Too bad it got buried under Kent Manahan cutting him off. Huh? What happened?
Forrester even got in a nasty "If Sen. Corzine is a tax cutter than Golan Cipel is a Homeland Security expert." Ouch.
Two moments I was happy about- when Corzine was hammering away about the $9bil hole in the budget that would have been created by the Forrester 30-in-3 property tax gimick/plan, Forrester corrected him that it was really a $3.2bil hole. And, once Bob Ingle asked Forrester a question, it went through answer, rebuttal- then Bob reminded Forrester that he hadn't answered the question. Why didn't Corzine jump on that?
Two moments in 60 minutes is not good.
I'm scared. This was not a good performance for a candidate whose lead is only 11 points. Damn.
Monday, September 19, 2005
In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
It was raining most of the day in Central NJ, so the roads were wet. Moron Cyclist was wearing a brain-bucket helmet, sunglasses, t-shirt, shorts and - I kid you not- sandals. He had big, stupid chopper handlebars that he couldn't seem to keep both hands on. Must be uncomfortable to have your arms so high up that you have no control of your bike. He must have spent 70% of the time I was stuck with his left arm hanging down. I have to admit, to pass the truck on the double yellow at the blind curve- he put his hands on the handlebars then.
But he needed his hands to signal, since the bike had no directional lights.
He was speeding like crazy, but you guessed that.
I lost him in Englishtown, luckily. I was keeping a big distance because when this idiot went down, I wanted to have enough room to drive around the body. He got away from us by pulling into traffic and we lost him. I wonder if he got home at all, or if he's a road stain that gets written up in the Home-News Tribune tomorrow. (That would be an example of evolution, not intelligent design.)
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
A consultant hired by the owner of the 50-acre Klockner Woods tract knew that a portion of the land the developer hoped to build on was wetlands and would not be suitable for home building, state records show.
A 2004 letter to state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials from the consultant, John Szczepanski of Nova Consultants, included a swath of wetlands on the map of the area where owner Fieldstone Associates had hoped to build. The additional wetlands would make at least three houses impossible to build.
But despite the addition of the wetlands, Fieldstone never removed the three homes from the concept plan for its development submitted to local officials in March 2004. The number of possible houses ultimately determined the price the township paid for the land.
Hamilton Mayor Glen Gilmore says that "If it turns out the developer was telling us one thing and telling the DEP another, that to me would be a breach of fairness and we would certainly ask the court to reassess the terms of the agreement."
I certainly hope so.
The clock is ticking; as of Sept. 1st, interest is owed by the Township to the developer at a rate of $27,000 a month. The Township is hoping the developer will forgo the interest provided the deal goes through as planned. (Try that line next time you're late on a mortgage payment: "Oh, I'm sorry. I hope you'll forgo the interest since I will pay you someday.") They're still waiting for the survey that Hamilton commisioned, which should be done in the near future.
His eBay business of selling Certificates of Influence seems to be doing well. He has 3 feedbacks as of this writing, with at least one person eager to take office. I'm disappointed that no one has snatched up the Blueberry industry advisory council position- I think I'll just have to go for it.
I'm always glad to see a third party candidate in the debates. It keeps the mainstream party candidates on their toes.
This is not surprising. I like Acting Gov. Codey (I nearly cried after his budget address, I so wanted to vote for this man!) Forrester beat McGreevey by nine points. Since McGreevey resigned under a massive scandal after having had an administration beset by corruption and scandal after scandal, you'd think Doug could do better than nine points. Not a good sign.
The last Star Ledger/Eagleton poll (9/12) has Sen. Jon Corzine ahead of Forrester, 49% to 31%.
(Thanks to the prop over at Coffeegrounds for the Star-Ledger link.)
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
12th District Republican Assembly candidates Jennifer Beck and Declan O'Scanlon win the award this week for most misleading campaigning. It could well rank as among the most misleading campaigning of the entire election season when all is said and done.
Beck and O'Scanlon, campaigning in the legislative district that includes East Windsor and Hightstown, put out a statement Friday trashing Democratic incumbents Michael Panter and Robert Morgan for voting for a bill that sent $20 million to North Jersey school districts.
Their release was full of outrage.
Beck seethed about how Panter and Morgan "just voted this spring to send $20 million to school districts that border Abbott districts while their own schools have been flat funded for the past two years."
O'Scanlon was beside himself that Morgan and Panter "thought it was more important to throw additional money at North Jersey than fight for increased funds here in the 12th District." He further stated that Panter and Morgan "serve at the whim of the North Jersey Democrat bosses."
Too bad they weren't correct.
Morgan and Panter voted against the bill to send $20 million to the North Jersey school districts.
Beck and O'Scanlon are either ignoring the facts or they're careless candidates.
Either way, such statements raise serious questions about their campaign style.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant New Jersey an emergency stay that would have prevented the release of the BRAC report on military base closures and realignments to Bush. Sen. Corzine had asked the court to block the release so the state had enough time to file a proper appeal. The list was presented to Bush last night, who said he will pass it along to Congress without any changes.
That's the final nail in Fort Monmouth's coffin. Ok, Congress could vote down the recommendations (they don't get to make changes) but that's highly unlikely.
The good news from the BRAC report is for McGuire AFB. They will pick up the the Navy and Marine squadrons, 500 jobs total, from Willow Grove Naval Air Station outside Philly. Also, Fort Dix and Lakehurst Naval Air Station will join McGuire in the nation's first Mega-base, which will consolidate command and enable the bases to work more closely on large projects.
The appeals were what our representatives in Washington were supposed to do. They made their noise and stated their cases to keep Fort Monmouth, but it's always been just a matter of time before the fort was closed. They made it throught the last two rounds of closing by the skin of their teeth. The folks I know who work there have been expecting this for years, as have our representatives and the media.
So, thank you Sen. Corzine, Rep. Smith, Rep. Holt, and all the legislators who tried in vain to save Ft. Monmouth. It was worth the effort, if only for the political clout.
(Cross-posted at Blanton's and Ashton's- What's the noble cause?)
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Acting Gov Codey has established drop-off points for bottled water:
1799 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666-0687
1315 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ 07052-1419
479 West Clinton Street
Dover, NJ 07801-1799
550 RT 57
Port Murray, NJ 07865
1060 Hamilton Street
Somerset, NJ 08873
151 Eggerts Crossing Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
NJ National Guard Training Center
Sea Girt, NJ 08750-0251
658 North Evergreen Avenue
Woodbury, NJ 08096-1399
2560 South Delsea Drive
Vineland, NJ 08360-7093
1008 Absecon Blvd.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401-1999
600 Garden State Parkway
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-1699
Samaratin Baptist Church in Trenton is collecting supplies until Friday at the following locations:
Samaritan Baptist Church, 531 Martin Luther King Blvd., Trenton
First United Methodist Church, 15 S. Broad St., Trenton
Mercer County Community College, West Windsor campus, Student Center, 2nd floor Room 241
Mercer county college's Kerney campus off South Broad Street in Trenton.
The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean and America's Harvest are holding a food drive for hurricane victims.
The FoodBank in Neptune will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to collect donated items.Starting Tuesday, the FoodBank will accept donations 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at its warehouse, 3300 Route 66, Neptune. The FoodBank is also seeking financial donations. Checks can be mailed to the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, 3300 Route 66, Neptune, NJ 07753. Write "Disaster Relief" on the memo line. For information, go to www.foodbankmoc.org
Freehold Township will collect donations through Sept. 30 under the "Freehold Township Cares" program.
Clothing, shoes and toiletries only will be accepted at the drop-off site outside the fence at the Department of Public Works, 66 Jackson Mills Road. Donations must be placed in a sturdy plastic garbage bag.Suggested toiletries include diapers, wipes, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo.
Neptune officials will be collecting supplies on Friday and Saturday.
The collection will take place Friday night at the Ocean Grove beach fireworks display and on Saturday at Neptune Day. For information, call the Neptune Recreation Department at (732) 869-1202 or go to www.neptunetownship.org on the Web.
The Collingswood Fire Department will accept donations of cases of bottled water at its fire station, 20 W. Collings Ave.
For more information, call the borough at (856) 854-0720.
Mount Laurel Professional Firefighters and EMTs and the Mount Laurel Fire Department are collecting clothing, diapers, toiletries, toys and other nonperishable goods at Fire Station 361 on Masonville Road.
Essex County has several relief programs set up; view them all here.
Catholic Charities for Diocese of Camden is accepting donations; info here.
Greater Somerset County chapter of the Red Cross is training volunteers and accepting donations; info here.
The United Way of Central New Jersey is accepting donations: info here.
Sun National Bank, based in Vineland, will match donations dollar-for-dollar at their locations; info here.
Salvation Army is accepting donations at their headquarters, as well as Wal-mart and Sam's locations; info here.
This list is by no means comprensive but it should get anyone from Our Fair State started who wants to help. I'll add more as I can find them. Please, this is a desparate time for so many who need our help.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Tuesday, September 20th NJN, Gannett, Philadelphia Inquirer, NJ State Chamber of Commerce, NJ State League of Municipalities, Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, African American Chamber of Commerce.
Tuesday, October 18th New Jersey League of Women Voters, WABC-WPVI, Univision, WHYY-FM
Tuesday, October 11th Joint Editorial Board, Gannett New Jersey newspapers
Tuesday, October 11th New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio Candidates Forum
Saturday, November 5th WNBC News Forum with Gabe Pressman
There will be 5 other joint appearances and forums-no dates yet.
In the press release, Campaign Director Steve DeMicco said “With these series of events, we have not only agreed to the two debates sanctioned by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, but also to eight additional events. We hope we can count on Doug Forrester to attend these important events so that the voters of New Jersey are exposed to a wide-ranging discussion of the issues crucial to our state and its people.”
Well, so much for the Forrester camp's assertion that Jon Corzine was "ducking" him and wanted no more than one tv/one radio debate, and none after Oct. 15. At least Doug didn't pull the old NJ GOP trick of insisting there be one debate in every county in NJ, as he did against Lautenberg after Franks tried it against Corzine when running for senate. Twenty-one debates is just plain silly but 3-5 is reasonable, and most of NJ should be able to watch or hear a few if not all of them.
And with that, the fall campaign season is officially underway, this Tuesday after Labor Day. The ad war will be coming on strong now, not just the occasional TV and radio spots. Yes, they've been campaigning for months but it really goes into high gear in the fall. I admit, right now it seems kind of exciting and I'm eager for the debates and the heavy campaigning to start. (Remind me I said that around Halloween when I'm ready to cancel my TV & newspaper and burn the radio rather than suffer through another campaign ad. )
(Cross-posted at Blanton's and Ashton's- What's the noble cause?)
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Smith and Rivera are watching people in a desperate, filthy, life-threatening situation. They have all the perspective there could ever be. Our ability to handle a domestic crisis has shown itself to be pretty shoddy, partly because the Louisiana National Guard is off fighting a war and partly because of a lack of leadership and communication. Don't comment that many people have been helped; many people have been helped but obviously more are still in need and are left being out in the heat, in the filth, in the horror show.
I wonder if this happened in a different place, like Our Fair State, would anything be different? Would we have such a deterioration of society? Is Kanye West right, being minority and poor equal lesser treatment? I shudder to think that maybe he is.
So much for the richest nation on earth, huh? This is horrifying.
(Thanks to Sam at Jersey Perspective for the Crooks and Liars link.)
UPDATE: At least now, they are leaving the Convention Center and are out of the Superdome. Rahema Ellis has a discussion- with no answers, but an overview of the poverty question here.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Rev. Pat Robertson has publicly called for the United States to assasinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chaves. Just one question for Rev. Robertson: What method of assasination would Jesus use?
The wetland and flood plain survey they commissioned should be done Sept. 12. Also, there's no guarantee when that is done that the purchase agreement will be changed at all.
And the fleecing of Hamilton and NJ continues...
Thursday, September 01, 2005
My charity is:
Habitat for Humanity
Once the initial shock and clean-up are over, thousands of people will have lost their homes. Habitat for Humanity has spent 30 years helping the homeless and poor of our world into homes. Their experience will be needed in the Gulf states to move storm victims as quickly as possible into new residences.
Keep hoping for the best.