Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Straten's Strategies for N.J.'s Local Races

Our good friend Roland Straten has been keeping a scorecard for us on the local elections in New Jersey’s 8th District. Remember to vote this Tuesday!

As promised, Roland writes, here is my attempt to bring some clarity to the local elections in the 8th congressional district.

First, I apologize to the residents of Verona and Belleville for not including them in my analysis on the State redistricting. Gerrymandering was certainly apparent. Belleville is now part of Newark. Why should Belleville, Nutley, and Bloomfield be separated? Verona was added to the 26th: Butler, Fairfield, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Morris Plains, North Caldwell, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Rockaway, Verona, West Caldwell, and West Milford. What do Verona and West Milford have in common except to gerrymander the districts in the Dem’s favor? The Republicans really lost big in redistricting, again. [I agree with Roland – this is a mighty strange district.]


For those of you who believe we need to control government spending, these elections will be critical. They are below most everyone's radar screen and the pundits expect certain seats to be won based on historical party affiliations. We need to change that. As a start, do everything you can possibly do to elect the local candidates on this list. If they are elected, who knows, we may send a Republican congressman to Washington from this area.

Freeholder Elections

Essex County Freeholders

Essex County has 5 district seats as well as 4 at large seats. Because of the demographics, we need to do some really hard work to win the Newark seats and the at large seats. There are, however, two districts where we have a great opportunity, the 4th and the 5th.

Steve Rogers is running in the 5th district which includes Nutley, Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge and Montclair. Steve is a 37-year veteran of the Nutley police force, a veteran of the US Navy, and a member of the school board. He is running against Brendon Gill whose experience consists of working for Bill Pascrell and Frank Lautenberg. He is also the Montclair Democrat committee chair.

Joe Chiusolo, current mayor of Cedar Grove, is running in the 4th district which includes Caldwell, West and North Caldwell, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Millburn, West Orange, Roseland, Verona, and Cedar Grove. He is running against Leonard Lucianno. Joe runs a small business, Turn Out Uniforms, which makes him an ideal candidate to represent us on the Essex County Board.

Both Steve and Joe have a really good chance at winning. While they would only hold two seats, at least there would be a voice for controlled spending on the board. It is very interesting that each had one debate with their opponents. After showing that they were clearly the better candidates, both opponents refused to engage in further debates. Steve and Joe need to be on the freeholder board and YOU need to help them.

Passaic County Freeholders

All seats in Passaic County are at-large seats. After having all seven seats in Democrat hands, the Republicans were able to take 3 of the 7 two years ago. We only have to win one more for a controlled spending agenda to come to Passaic County.

Our candidates are Bob Ceberio and Frank Fusco for Freeholder. Larry Tosi is running for Surrogate. Bob has Masters in Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickenson. He served on the NJ Meadowland Commission and the Wayne Board of Education and owns a management consulting company specializing in improving organization productivity.

Frank Fusco has BA in Economics [excellent!] from Saint Peter's College and a law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan. He’s currently a councilman in Clifton and an attorney-at-law.

Larry Tosi is West Point graduate [dude!] who received his law degrees and an MBA from Seton Hall. Larry’s an Eagle Scout and has been active in the scouts for many years. He has been an attorney in Wayne for 20 years.

This is a really winnable election and every one from Passaic County needs to support these candidates.  As you can see we have some highly qualified candidates running for freeholder. Let's elect them.

Local Elections


Robert Goworek
Ken Wisert
Sue Ann Penna - 3rd Ward -- Sue Ann has been instrumental in getting the Essex County teaparty going and is clearly a controlled spending candidate.

Pompton Lakes

Mayor Katie Cole, Rick Steel, and Lloyd Kent are all up for reelection in Pompton Lakes. Pompton Lakes is one of the better run towns in the congressional district and all three deserve a to be reelected. If you live in Pompton Lakes, get out and vote for the team that have made Pompton Lakes a great place to live.


Alan Purcell 1st Ward
Al Sadowski 2nd Ward
Joseph Scuralli 4th Ward
Franco Mazzei 3rd Ward -- Successful Lawyer, VP Wayne Board of Education, President Wayne Public Library, Villanova Undergraduate and law degrees
Nadine Belle 6th Ward - current at large councilwoman in Wayne, BA from Seton Hall, Masters in environmental management from Montclair State, NJ School teacher, Owner, New Wave Engineering which consults on mandated state and federal regulations - former Chairwomen Wayne's Board of Adjustment, member library expansion committee and Industrial Commission.
James Jimenez At Large

As above, Wayne is also an extremely well run town and their council deserves to be reelected.

Extremely Important State Elections in the district

A double plug for Bill Eames. Bill is going to defeat Bill Codey. Help him and vote for him.

And we need support for Russell Mollica, Carol Humphreys, and Dave Pinckney in the State 8th: Glen Ridge, Irvington, part of Newark, Nutley, and Bloomfield.

Russell is a graduate of Bloomfield High School with an accounting degree from NYU. He has been President of International Trade Company for 22 years.

And don't forget Bill Connolly in Paterson and the 35th. His opponents feel that they have already won. Call or Email anyone you know in Elmwood Park, Garfield, Haledon, North Haledon, Paterson, & Prospect Park. Winning the 35th would send such a message to the big spenders that even inner city people are sick and tired of high taxes, uncontrolled spending, and unreasonable regulations.

And if you are not in one of the above districts, still get out and help and vote. My last email covered all of the State elections in the district if you need more info on the State elections.


I really apologize for the limited coverage in this email. I have been working for a number of months trying to gather information, but it is really really hard to do. If there are details missing, it is not because I do not support a particular candidate, I just do not have the information.

I would have loved to give you full resumes of each candidate and more information. The news media and the internet are extremely limited in coverage especially detail on the background of each candidate,

If anyone has specific info or you are a candidate who wants information to go to 2,000 people in the 8th congressional district, send me the info, and I will put together another email.

Roland Straten
Montclair, NJ 07043
Paid for by StratenforCongress

Friday, November 04, 2011

Poster Boy for Greed

Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine is a bad, bad boy.  He always was a bad boy.  When Corzine was running for governor, radio broadcaster Bob Grant tried to tell whoever was listening that this guy is as corrupt as they come.  Still, New Jerseyans being what they are, they first elected him as a U.S. Senator, and then governor.

Born in Illinois, Corzine enrolled in the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1970 and got his MBA in 1973.  His first business experience at the University.  He then moved to BancOhio National Bank (a regional bank in that was acquired in 1984 by National City Bank).  

In 1975, Corzine moved his family to New Jersey and was hired as a bond trader for Goldman Sachs. Over the years, he worked his way up to Chairman and CEO of the company in 1994 and converted the investment firm from a private partnership to a publicly traded corporation. Corzine’s predecessor had led Goldman to its first money-losing year in its 129-year history and to its near collapse as a firm.  Corzine also chaired a presidential commission for Bill Clinton and served on the U.S. Treasury Department’s borrowing committee.   As a Goldman Sachs senior partner, he helped develop a rescue package for the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management when the leveraged fund's collapse in the fall of 1998 threatened contagion across the US financial system.   

According to U.S. News & World Report, Corzine did not get along with co-CEO Henry Paulson, who came from the other major area of the bank, investment banking.  When Corzine decided to help the bailout, Paulson seized control of the firm.   As co-chairman of the firm, he oversaw its expansion into Asia.  When Goldman Sachs went public after Corzine's departure, Corzine made $400 million. Did you read that, Occupy Wall Street?  Probably not, because Corzine is a Democrat and you turn a blind eye to Democrat greed.

Corzine was elected to the Senate in 2000, where he co-authored the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. also known as the 'Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act' (in the Senate) and 'Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act' (in the House) which set new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management and public accounting firms.  In the aftermath of Enron, he co-sponsored (with Barbara Boxer) legislation in 2002 that reformed the 401(k) to minimize the risk of investment portfolios, and not incidentally, lowered their value. The plan was opposed by George W. Bush and Congress.   Restrictions on retirement account allocations were in direct opposition to the contemporaneous movement towards self-directed individual retirement accounts for social security.

In the spring of 1999, when Corzine was running for the Senate, he met Carla Katz, the then president of Local 1034 of the Communications Workers of America, which represents the largest number of state workers in New Jersey. Corzine offered her a job on his Senate campaign, but she declined the offer.  For more than two years Corzine was romantically involved with Katz. She lived with him at his Hoboken apartment from April 2002 until August 2004.

After Corzine's breakup with Katz, their lawyers negotiated a financial payout in November 2004. According to press accounts, the settlement for Katz exceeded $6 million, including cash (in part used to buy her $1.1 million condominium in Hoboken), a college trust fund to educate her children, a 2005 Volvo SUV, and Corzine forgave a $470,000 loan that he had made to Katz in 2002 so that she could buy out her ex-husband's share of their home.  Corzine later admitted that he had also given $15,000 to Carla Katz's brother-in-law, Rocco Riccio, a former state employee who had resigned, after being accused of examining income tax returns for political purposes. At the time, Katz was president of the CWA Local 1034, which bargains on behalf of many state employees.

In the summer of 2005, when Corzine was running for governor, news first emerged of his relationship with Katz and the money she had received. Corzine was elected governor despite the scandal.  In the fall of 2006, during an impasse in contract negotiations between the Corzine administration and the state’s seven major state employee unions (including the CWA), Katz contacted the governor by phone and e-mail to lobby for a renewal of the negotiations. Their relationship and the financial settlement Katz received after their breakup led to criticism of potential conflicts of interest in labor negotiations while Corzine was governor.  A state ethics panel, acting on a complaint from Steve Lonegan, ruled in May 2007 that Katz's contact with Corzine during negotiations did not violate the governor's code of conduct.  

Separately, N.J. Republican State Committee Chairman Chairman Tom Wilson filed a lawsuit to release all e-mail correspondence between Corzine and Katz during the contract negotiations. On May 30, 2008, N.J. Superior Court Judge Paul Innes ruled that at least 745 pages of e-mail records should be made public, but Corzine's lawyers immediately appealed the decision.
Corzine won his case on appeal, and on March 18, 2009, the court ruled that it would not hear arguments in the case, effectively ending the legal battle to make his e-mails with Katz public. Corzine spent approximately $127,000 of taxpayer funds to keep the e-mails secret. Despite these efforts, on August 1, 2010, The Star-Ledger published 123 of the Corzine-Katz e-mails, revealing the extent of their personal contact during negotiations over a new state workers contract in early 2007.

After he lost the gubernatorial election, Corzine was appointed CEO and Chairman of MF Global,a multinational futures broker and bond dealer, in March 2010. MF Global's stock price declined two-thirds in the final week of October  and its credit rating was reduced, making its debt high-yield debt following huge quarterly losses.   On October 31, trading was halted on shares of MF Global prior to the market opening, and soon thereafter,  MF Global announced that it had declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Shortly afterwards, federal regulators began an investigation into hundreds of millions of dollars in missing customer funds.   Corzine resigned as CEO on today, after having retained the services of prominent white-collar attorney defense attorney Andrew J. Levander.

According to Fox News:

Corzine’s exit comes just four days after New York-based MF Global collapsed under pressure from over $6 billion in risky bets on European sovereign debt.  Its Chapter 11 filing marked the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.  Since its implosion, a string of negative headlines have emerged, including more than $600 million in missing client funds and questions about whether MF Global management may have misled investors about the company’s health.
This was a difficult decision, but one that I believe is best for the firm and its stakeholders, Corzine, who became CEO in 2010, said in a statement. I feel great sadness for what has transpired at MF Global and the impact it has had on the firm's clients, employees and many others.

In a sign he’s worried about potential prosecution, Corzine has hired Dechert’s Andrew Levander, a well-known white-collar defense lawyer. In the past, Levander served as legal counsel for ex-Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and outside directors at Lehman Brothers. He has also advised Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase (JPM: 33.69, -0.69, -2.01%).

Legal experts say Corzine could face criminal charges if evidence emerges that he intentionally misused client funds -- which are supposed to be segregated -- for MF Global’s needs such as collateral calls from counterparties and customer withdrawals. Likewise, Corzine could be under pressure if regulators believe he intentionally misled investors about the financial health of the company in the days leading up to its bankruptcy.

However, criminal charges are notoriously difficult to make stick against Wall Street officials because executives’ intent must be proved in addition to any wrongdoing. It's been three years since the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and no major executive on Wall Street has faced criminal charges.

I intend to continue to assist the Company and its Board in their efforts to respond to regulatory inquiries and issues related to the disposition of the firm's assets, Corzine said.

In a separate statement, MF Global said Corzine has confirmed he won’t seek severance payments in connection with his resignation. The company also said lead director Edward Goldberg and Bradley Abelow, its president and chief operating officer, will stay on in their current positions.

Meanwhile, a new analysis from The Wall Street Journal reveals MF Global for the past two years disguised its debt levels to investors by temporarily cutting borrowing before reporting earnings each quarter.  The practice, known as window dressing, is not considered illegal but appeared to have masked investors’ ability to gauge the amount of leverage on the company’s balance sheet.

“’Corzine also lobbied against a proposal from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that would have more tightly restricted how futures-trading firms can invest funds in customers’ trading accounts, the Journal reported.

So, Occupy Wall Street, here’s an economic villain for you.  What are you going to do about?  Are you going to behead him in Zoocotti Park?  Are you going to “occupy” his Hoboken apartment?  Camp out in front of his door?  Urinate on his sidewalk, drum him out of the ranks (and out of his mind, like everyone else in Lower Manhattan) of Liberaldom?

No.  We didn’t think so.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Occupy Your Own House

Thanks to the Hurricane Irene, and then the recent winter storm, a friend’s son found his mother-in-law occupying his house.  Since time in memorial, spouses have found their mothers-in-law occupying their houses.  Both my grandmothers occupied are house at one time, though (mercifully), not both at the same time.  My maternal grandmother occupied my bedroom.  I was not a happy camper since I had to share my younger sibling’s bedroom.

That’s what you do when you’re family.  But even family can wear out their welcome.  The Occupy Wall Street pests wore out their welcome the second day of their “occupation.”  Yet officials everywhere from Manhattan to Oakland to London have dithered in their responsibility to the general public and allowed the protestors to continue.  The Occupy St. Paul’s Cathedral pigeons will be allowed to occupy the church grounds right through the Christmas holidays.

In Oakland, the police gave the protestors, who were bused in, a police escort into the city so the OWSers could wreak havoc unmolested.  A driver who somehow managed to find himself trapped in the war zone, finding his Mercedes-Benz blocked, finally gunned his engine and ran down the protestors.  After questioning the driver, the police let him go, which sent the OWSers into an even greater frenzy.  They broke shop windows and have shut down the Port of Oakland, the 5th or 6th busiest port in the United States.

Officials fear a “Kent State” moment.  The truth about Kent State, though, is that the students fired first.  Nor was the riot initially about the Vietnam War; it was about beer.  The students, celebrating the end of the semester in May (of 1971), were rampaging through the streets of the town, breaking windows and generally causing trouble.  The mayor shut down the bars.  So the students really began rioting, burning cars and fighting with the police who tried to arrest them.

The students returned to their dorms to sleep it off.  In the meanwhile, some anti-war protestors heard about the unrest.  “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”  The agitators stirred the bunkered students into another protest, ostensibly about the War (although it was really about the booze, not the bombs).  The students started throwing rocks and bottles at the riot police.  The governor then called in the National Guard.

The students then threw rocks and bottles at the National Guard.  And then someone on the side of the protestors produced a gun and fired, although they deny it vehemently.  The guards fired back and the rest is revisionist history.

OWS insists its gatherings are peaceful, but the evidence of violence is mounting against them.  These riots are reminiscent of the riots of the Sixties.  This isn’t the first time that a port has been closed down.  However, riots should have been ancient history by now.  Let that be our lesson.  Thugs, thieves, deadbeats and beatniks will never give peace a chance.

Neither will mothers-in-law.  What will happen when these people start occupying our homes and property?  Will we have the strength to stand up to them and tell them to get out?  Will the authorities back us up, like the Oakland cop who let the driver go, or will we be sent to jail for defending our property?  Will we be told to just let them stay there, that they’re not hurting anyone?  We’d better start thinking about standing up for ourselves now, while we still can.  Once you let a pest invade your home, they’ll multiply and you’ll never be rid of them.  Our society disdains violence.  That may be the right philosophy.  But it’s not very helpful when the only way you can get rid of a pest.  Even a fly will gladly zoom out the door if you show it to him; we’re not going to get rid of these flies so easily.

We’re going to have to swat them.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The State of the New Jersey Voter

2011 is an important election year for the Garden State.  This should have been New Jersey voters’ big opportunity to turn things around.  Yet, according to pundits in the Media, they’re not hearing anything about the candidates.  If they don’t know anything about the candidates, you can be sure the voters don’t.  If hadn’t been for our former 8th District candidate friend, Roland Stratten, we wouldn’t have, either.

What’s the problem?  Well, Gov. Christie’s announcement that due to Democrat redistricting, the elections will yield very few positive results for Conservatives didn’t help.  You can just hear the Reluctant Republican voter out there saying, “See?  It’s hopeless.  I told you so?”  (Isn’t that right, J.D.?)

J.D. is your consummate reluctant voter.  When I addressed the Morristown Tea Party in March 2009, he was my model for my argument about targeting the voters, not the politicians.  A registered Republican, he didn’t vote in the last election.  Fortunately for him, the Republican candidate in his district was a shoe-in.  However, unless I’m mistaken, those non-votes count in redistricting plans.  Use your vote, or lose it.  Every single vote does count.  He works very hard, is very good at what he does, and is a devoted husband, father, son, and homeowner.  But he’d rather be at his daughter’s soccer game than a political meeting.  Just like just about everyone else in New Jersey.

Another reason for the silence is there are few conservative voters because they’ve moved out of the state.  Wealthy people aren’t going to pay punitive property and income taxes.  They’re going to move to Texas, or some other place that believes in individual success and freedom.

Then, too, northern New Jersey is within the black-hole vicinity of the liberal New York Media.  The New Jersey media is a lost cause.  Yesterday, we learned that the editor of The Bergen Record (and they’re mild compared to the rabidly Democrat Star-Ledger) was either terminated or resigned under duress.  The less the Republicans say, the better.  Anything they do say will only be turned around.  The Democrats’ voters are secure.  The Republican voters are largely moderate, like J.D., and can be depended upon to go along to get along (I’m sorry, J.D.; I said I would beat you up.) 

But your job is now secure.  For now.  You know the company is looking at the Optional Federal Charter (the Community Reinvestment Act hasn't done us any favors, either).  What do you think is going to happen to your job when it goes through?  Your job has been secured at the cost of all of us outside your door here.  Not that I have a problem with that.  Sooner or later, you know you’ll be expected to leave New Jersey if you want to keep your job.  If you want to stay here in New Jersey, you might want to rethink joining the fight, joining up with the Morristown Tea Party.  They could use your help.  If the company tells you to support the OFC, you know you’ll have to – and you will – and then say farewell to your comfortable house there in western Morris County.

Maybe by the time that happens, your other kid will be in college and it won’t matter so much.  But you were the one who told me and LF, as we were driving through the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania that you’d never want to live anyplace else.  You’ve been to our Midwestern office.  You know what it’s like there.  You know what other people have said about what living in that part of the country is like.  How do you think you’ll like living there.

Our company is in transition.  Our co-workers who thought there might be a chance of staying here in New Jersey with this company have now been disabused of that notion.  Those who said they wouldn’t leave are either reconsidering or panicking.  There are no jobs in New Jersey.  I just drove through an industrial park in Oakland the other day, to return my fancy set-top box for the standard version, that doesn’t carry an $11 per month surcharge on it, just the $7 a month rental fee.

Many of the buildings were empty.  These are the small businesses that are supposed to be the bulwark of our economy.  There are more of them in Totowa and Fairfield.  You see them everywhere you go in New Jersey: nearly empty industrial parks and shopping malls.  The trains and trucks are going through, which is a good sign, or would be, if they weren’t all headed for the city.  One suspects the box cars are filled with stimulus dollars – fake money.

Take a look at the fake bricks in the supply closet, J.D.  That’s the foundation.  That’s New Jersey’s foundation.  That’s our country’s economic foundation.  Hollow bricks.  The Democrats and moderate Republicans are building the foundation for hope and change with hollow bricks and fake money.  When I took those pictures, everyone was smiling, weren’t they, J.D.?  Where are they now?

The company must do what it must do precisely because our New Jersey politicians compromised.  Our politicians compromised because we compromised.  When you finally leave for headquarters, you’ll probably have to sell your house at a loss (although the company’s compensation plan is quite generous, I hear) and it will be occupied by someone who couldn’t have afforded it otherwise, isn’t as talented, hard-working, or honest as you are, and has stood by waiting as you dig them out of a hole they dug for themselves.

It’s not too late for you to do the right thing.  If you do nothing else for our state, at least vote on Election Day.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Redistribution of Husbands

American women are generally not noted for their political activism (or wisdom) unless it concerns them closely:  equal pay, burning bras, or their kids’ education.  Tell them that if Islamism prevails in America they will have to shroud themselves from head to foot, they’ll just shrug.  “Well, it’ll hide the fat.”  Tell them that they can’t drive and they’ll respond, “My husband does most of the driving, anyway.”  Or, “We’ll carpool to work.  It’ll be good for the environment.”  Tell them that their children will have to memorize the Koran and they’ll say, “It’s good to be diverse and study other religions.”

But tell them that that new religion will allow their husbands to marry up to three other women (if they can afford it), and you’ll have a new conservative activist demographic on your hands, one against which the gates of Hell itself will not prevail.

Now that Moammar Khadafy has met his just end, Libya is free.  Shariah Law will be the new and only law of the land.  Not only does that mean the women will be shrouded (which they claim to be proud to do), but that men will be permitted to engage in polygamous marriages – and the women of Libya are, to say the least, “unsettled.”  Up until now, according to the Associated Press report, unrestricted polygamy has been “limited and rare for decades.”  A Qaddafi-era law that placed restrictions on multiple marriages, which is a tenet of Islamic law, or Shariah, would be done away with.  The law, which stated that a first wife had to give permission before others were added, for instance, had kept polygamy rare in Libya.

The New York Times cries that it’s a “sizable step backward for women.”  The Times, never a fan of conventional marriage, ought to be celebrating.  Think of all the divorces polygamy will prevent.  Women can share in their labor and resources, no?  One wife can look after the tribe, while the others go out to work.  It’s communal living at its most convenient.  No one in a true commune even worries about being married.  Free love.  Free laundry service.  Community property.

American men, of course, think one wife is plenty and then some.  From their point of view, they’ve got to be thinking, with a shudder:  “Why would anyone want four wives?!”  Osama Bin Laden had several wives and over 20 small children in his house.  His killing wasn’t an assassination in men’s eyes; it was a mercy killing.  Bigamy is a criminal offense in Britain carrying a maximum jail term of seven years. To avoid prosecution, already-married Muslim men may hold an under-the-radar religious ceremony called Nikah which is never registered as a civil marriage.
This practice provides opportunity to exploit the UK’s ample social benefits system, as described by the Daily Mail:  Multiple marriages are encouraged by a welfare system which allows a second, third or fourth wife to be treated as a single mother who gets a house and an array of other state payments for herself and her children.  Controversially, it means that a man can take a new spouse (from anywhere in the world), sire any number of children with her, and yet have no responsibility for this family’s upkeep or care.

Still, in Islam men deal with the nuisance of having four wives and all that noise by beating them when they get out of line.  American men deal with it by getting themselves divorced and then remarried, often taking on the same number of dependents as their Islamic counterparts.  Both alternatives are expensive and unpleasant for one side or the other.

Americans gladly turn a blind eye to all the other perils of Islam – the stonings, beheadings, and beheadings.  They’re perfectly complacent with allowing their own God to be drummed out of the school.  They even submit to having their children’s Halloween costumes banned.

But polygamy is Islam’s Waterloo.  They may yet reign victorious in this matter.  Americans are awfully stupid and spineless.  We’ve allowed ourselves, after all, to being brainwashed into believing that it’s perfectly okay for little boys to prefer dressing up as a Disney princess than as Darth Vader (it’s not going to be “okay” under Sharia Law).  We’re fine with homosexuals getting married.  We say nothing about the smutty garbage that Hollywood produces.  We pay exorbitant fees to watch shows promoting the normality of teenage pregnancy.  Legalization of marijuana is underway, with all the attendant unforeseen consequences.  Our Media is congratulating Occupy Wall Street on the success of its modern French revolution, complete with (for the time being) mock beheadings, repeated violence against the police, and blatant calls for anarchy and communism (in that order).  They may have only just begun the battle for polygamy, the last great obstacle in the acceptance of Islam.

Or polygamy may be Islam’s downfall.  American women will consent to much (pole-dancing has become the new yoga).  But legally sharing their husbands with other women?  The communists have their work cut out for them on that one – a very tough sell.

Hell hath no fury like an American woman dormed.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011: More Trick Than Treat

Some spooky things have been happening to Halloween in recent years.  But this year seems to be a seminal year for taking the “treat” out of trick or treating.

First, there are the politically-correct school districts that have banned school Halloween parties because Halloween is based on a  Christian holiday (which is based on a pagan holiday, but never mind about that – it’s a Christian holiday now).  Not that the fundamentalist Christians have ever been particularly fond of Halloween with its ghost, ghouls, and devils.

Other progressive schools, knowing how popular Halloween is with the kids, have taken another tack – the all-inclusive Halloween.  Boys in traditional girls’ costumes.  Girls in traditional boys’ costumes.  Oh look:  here’s Michael Smith in his pink ballerina costume.  Girls more easily can get away with boys’ costumes; it’s easier for Mary Smith to dress up as a football player than it is for Michael to dress up in a cheerleaders’ costume – a girl’s costume.  Although college boys have been known to do dress in drag for Halloween, and to very funny effect (think South Pacific, the musical). 

I defy any parent to wrestle their 8 year old son into a Dorothy costume, though.  Small children shouldn’t be thinking seriously about cross-gender dressing.   They shouldn’t be thinking sexually at all at that age.  If they are, they’ve got a problem and so do their parents. 

Which brings us to another aberrant trend – the “sexy” Halloween costume.  While it’s okay for adults to want to dress up for Halloween parties, the holiday is still meant primarily for children.  The supplier catalogs have been advertising ever-more risqué costumes for adults and inappropriate costumes for children, particularly teens.  If the costumes are any more revealing, they’ll have to come in brown paper wrappers.

Then there’s the problem of real-life Halloween horrors – that is to say, perverts and contaminated candy.  The public has never recovered from the Halloween scare of the early Seventies when parents were said to have found tainted candy in the goody bags, razor blades in apples and such.   Most of the reports turned out to be false.  In any case, candy today comes well-wrapped and protective.  Candy also comes with a high price tag.  What’s more, there are fewer trick or treaters running about in the neighborhood than in the old days, and they’re more likely to visit only homes they know, or go straight to parties. 

We haven’t seen Halloweeners in years.  If any kids do come to the door, they’re going to get Piggy Bucks and Bailout Coins rather than candy.  Every year, I buy the candy and it sits in the bag unopened and uneaten.  No one’s going to play that trick on me again.  The Piggy Bucks will last from year to year to year and never lose their value (unlike the U.S. dollar).

Mother Nature has played those of us in the Northeast one last trick.  She dumped anywhere from six inches to two feet of snow from Pennsylvania to Maine.  Power is still out in many towns, meaning no streetlights tonight.  The roads and sidewalks are still icy because the temperature is so cold, so towns are postponing Halloween until Saturday, by which time the weather will have warmed up a little and the snow will have melted.
It’ll be a great night to stay indoors and watch one of the classic horror movies.  The Wizard of Oz is a great, classic Halloween movie, as is the Lord of the Rings, and the series about that other wizard, Harry Potter.  There is also Glenn Beck on his GBTV network, who can’t be recommended enough.  For those of you have cable, it’s out here in northern N.J. and you’ll be out of luck watching anything except DVDs.  For those of you with a Wifi receiver, or better yet, Roku or Boxee, you can tune in to Glenn’s 5 p.m. Halloween broadcast.

For a few years now, Glenn has done a radio version of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Telltale Heart.” Glenn is a sensational storyteller.  His version of Telltale Heart is just spine-tingling.  He’s a truly gifted, artistic storyteller.  How this man could say he doesn’t know anything making speeches and public-speaking can only be attributed to misplaced modesty.   Don’t take this as cheerleading but as the literal truth.  No one tells a story, particularly TTH, quite like Glenn Beck.  If you’ve never heard it, download it and listen to it sometime today.  He’s making it available today on his website.  Whatever the fee is, just pay it; it’s well worth it, especially since he’s not available in the metro New York area anymore, except through his website.

For those of us with access to GBTV, his televised take on Halloween will probably become a classic, just like his Telltale Heart and all the other favorites we’ve come to love on Halloween, like “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and The Wizard of Oz.  I make it my business to listen to his annual Halloween Broadcast for Telltale Heart.  It’s that good.

Mother Nature's Goosey Nite Trick

Mother Nature, in a Goosey Nite Eve rampage (that’s Mischief or Devil’s Nite for those of you who don’t live in northern New Jersey), played a mean trick on the East Coast Saturday, dumping snow on trees that, in some places, are still green.

There’s never been an October snowfall in the history of the Garden State.  Because the trees still have all their leaves in lower-lying areas, large branches and whole trees were knocked down all over the state.  The nor’easter came in a little sooner and a little faster than expected.  Within an hour, the temperatures dropped from autumn to winter, making it cold it enough for the snow to fall and to stick.

Shoppers, out early because they expected the storm to come later in the afternoon, found themselves skidding over slick roads.  Whole neighborhoods are blanketed in snow, fallen trees, and green leaves.  Many residents are still without power.  Mom was thinking about going out Saturday afternoon – before the trees started falling – and I told her not to.

A couple of big branches came crashing down into our parking lot, right into the much-debated visitor parking space.  When the weather is bad, like it was on Saturday, I always warn my visitors not to park there because of the trees.  The visitor parking spaces are first-come, first-serve.  My next-door neighbor’s son insists on parking there, even though his mother’s resident space out front is free because she doesn’t drive and she also has a designated visitor’s space.

My car was safe because it was just out of reach of the branches.  I also tarp my car during winter storms.  I highly recommend tarps to anyone with a high-profile vehicle.  The snow will freeze to the metal on the car; but it slides right off the tarp.  I still have to shovel it out of the way in front.  But it’s a lot faster than trying to scrape the ice and snow off the roof.  Once the snow is off, I pull the tarp down, roll it up (rolling is better than folding it flat; makes it easier to put it on the car again and isn’t as heavy) and store it away until the next storm.

Still, even though the branches impeded the space and the plow could only push the snow up to the branch, leaving only half a space, this stubborn moron insisted on parking there, clambering over snow banks and tree limbs to get to his mother’s door, and leaving his car sticking out in the roadway.  The association printed out the rules, but this woman still doesn’t have a license,  collar or leash on her dog,  lets the dog run loose, lets it wee-wee on the grass, and keeps garbage cans at her back door, even though the garbage bins are a short walk away.

Clearly, they didn’t get Mother Nature’s message.  Next time (and there will be a next time), she’ll have to drop a branch right on this moron’s car (it has so many dents already, that you wouldn’t notice) before they finally get it – park out front where they belong.  Why is it such a problem?  Because they’re going to kill the grass.  I can step from my stoop to the parking lot without ever touching dirt.  We’re right beside a stream on a downslope.  Without the grass, the soil will wash away and in time, we’ll find our back doors on a precipice.  It’s one thing for the residents to sit on their back porches, and maybe wander over to the stream to see how high it is.  It’s another thing to treat the back green like the New Jersey Turnpike.