Christie has no problem
wasting taxpayer funds
As U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Chris Christie claimed he held himself and those he investigated to high ethical standards. Truth is, his record reveals otherwise.
He gave former federal witness John Crosbie a $110,000 a year state job without vetting him. He gave his former driver, collecting a $90,000 a year pension, a $116,305 a year job with the State Parole Board. He placed 50 of his loyal supporters on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey payroll at a cost of $4 million.
He awarded AshBritt Inc. a $150 million no-bid clean-up contract after Hurricane Sandy, with some towns being overcharged, according to The Star-Ledger. He also used $25 million of Sandy federal relief money to advertise the Jersey Shore in ads that look more like re-election campaign videos.
He awarded $10.6 million of public funds to an all-male, orthodox rabbinical school run by Rabbi Aaron Kotler to get his and other orthodox leaders' endorsement in this year's governor's race.
In addition, Christie's New Jersey now ranks 44th in job creation nationally, and real estate taxes have risen 19 percent.
And his latest insult is to squander millions of tax dollars for a separate election to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
Arming Syrian rebels
isn't in U.S. interests
President Barack Obama seems to be eager to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors by arming Islamist rebels in Syria. Former President Ronald Reagan's backing of the Taliban and former President Bill Clinton's backing of Muslim fighters in Kosovo were counterproductive to both U.S. security and our image in the world.
I do not deny that the current Syrian regime is indifferently slaughtering tens of thousands of its own people with material backing from Iran and Moscow, but the U.S. shouldn't rush into a fight that does not concern us to side with the rebel factions that have targeted civilians, particularly Syrian Christians and other religious minorities.
The same al-Qaida that we are still fighting in Afghanistan is training and supplying the rebels that Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have been courting. Once Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is destroyed, any of the remaining ammunition that we gave them will be used to kill Americans. Just how is it in American's interest to borrow more money from China in order to give weapons to al-Qaida?
Owners go to beach,
while dogs bark away
Ah, summer. A soft wind blowing, birds singing, children laughing - and yappy little dogs visitors leave behind to entertain the neighborhood while they enjoy the beach.
You can't really blame the dogs. They are in an unfamiliar place and have no one to comfort and reassure them. We can all relate to this, except probably the owners of those dogs.
A suggestion would be leave them a treat, one of those little cage-like toys in which you stash a few kibbles or treats to keep them busy at least for a while.
We're already looking forward to fall.
Leash your dogs -
and pick up after them
Regarding the June 17 letter, "Require dogs to wear cloth jaw straps for safety":
While I heartily agree with the letter writer about steep fines for not complying with statutes or ordinances, I do not agree with the implementation of jaw straps. These steep fines should be placed upon dog owners who do not comply with leash laws.
But there's the rub. New Jersey does not have a statewide leash law. Other states stipulate that dogs are not allowed to run at large except when used for hunting, herding or exhibition. Dogs run, chase and charge instinctively. When in public, they should be leashed no more than five feet from the handler. That's control. That's responsible dog ownership, and everybody wins.
Meanwhile, regarding responsible dog ownership, pick up the poop and quiet the barking - please.
Poor decisions marred
Regarding the Absegami High School graduation:
With 21st century weather-predicting technology, we do not have to guess anymore about weather events. However, the administration at Absegami High School ignored all storm warnings and decided to continue with graduation outside.
There was plenty of time and opportunity to cancel and reschedule the graduation before the storm occurred. Richard Stockton College has a huge indoor gymnasium that would have accommodated all attendees and students.
But instead of rescheduling, the students sat there in the pouring rain. The administration decided to abandon all ceremony, certify the class and call names until they "saw" lightning. The names were called out as if an auction was taking place.
Once someone saw lightning, we were all asked to leave the bleachers and head to the school's gym. We all fully expected some form of the graduation would take place. The simple solution was to line the students in the hallway and call their names in the gymnasium so that parents could see their child graduate. But the people attending this graduation were treated with the utmost disrespect and asked to leave the gym, with no explanation. Students were given their diplomas privately.
Extra Galloway Township police were called in to diffuse the situation. I was enraged that district teachers with children graduating were allowed to see their children receive diplomas while the rest of us were kept outside by police. Hundreds of parents were robbed of one of the greatest events of their children's life.
This is not the first time this has happened at Absegami High School. After similar events last year, there should have been a contingency plan in case of inclement weather. Principal Jeri-Lynn Gatto is a poor excuse for an administrator. In the business world, when people continually make the same mistakes, they are fired. The same standard should hold true for an administrator of a school.
Climate is on steroids
- enact a carbon tax
Barry Bonds hit many home runs over the years. On steroids, he increased his effectiveness and hit even more home runs.
Some say that the climate is now on steroids due to heat and additional carbon in the atmosphere, thus increasing the power of dangerous weather events to come. Extreme weather is becoming more extreme, and the damages are increasing.
Why not consider a carbon tax on suppliers in the industries that contribute to this effect? Also, a great point of discussion would be class-action lawsuits against these industries.
In the end, as Pogo once stated: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
JOEL S. FOGEL