want background checks
The National Rifle Association has given U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, an "A" rating. The NRA opposes background checks for all gun sales. But according to a new poll released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 95 percent of likely voters in LoBiondo's district support background checks for all gun sales. Whom is LoBiondo listening to?
'Dictator' remark proves
how Obama has failed
The recent statement by President Barack Obama that "I am not a dictator" is an echo of that famous "I am not a crook" statement by President Richard Nixon.
Consider the manner by which Obama attempted to install his National Labor Relations Board picks, the revelations by Bob Woodward that Obama had, in fact, been caught in a lie about his and Jack Lew's authorship of the "sequestration," causing Woodward to be threatened, or his alliance with the Saudis, the British and al-Qaida to turn the Mideast into a flashpoint for U.S. and Russian confrontation.
The most telling recent example of recognition of a failed presidency - besides the tooth-pulling required to get him to say he cannot kill an American with a drone - are the 12 states that are debating or have passed a call for Congress to stop the unlimited bailouts of those "too big to jail" banks. Without a return to Glass-Steagall banking separation, there is no chance for a physical economic recovery. The New Jersey Legislature should rapidly pass that resolution and help get Congress to act.
Critic of flat tax
lacks common sense
The author of the March 8 letter, "Rich benefit most under a flat tax," lacks a little common sense.
He says "the poor guy walks or rides a bike … (and) has little need for roads, bridges and other infrastructure."
If this were the case, then our roads would be clogged with people on bikes and walking. The poor guy takes mass transportation and buys other goods and services that all depend on infrastructure.
The letter writer says the poor lose little "if bombs start falling." That is true. The wealthy would have to rebuild factories.
But the author is putting monetary value above the loss of human life, poor or wealthy, to make his point about who benefits the most from a strong defense.
He chastises Exxon-Mobil for making billions of dollars in profit. Does he point out that Exxon-Mobil pays billions in taxes every month?
The letter also pits one class against another, with his analogy about a flat tax being like an all-you-can-eat buffet. He says the little old lady who eats a salad pays the same as a guy who eats three lobsters and a side of beef.
The point is the little old lady has the option and choice to eat whatever she chooses. No person is telling her what she can or cannot eat. The choice is hers.
Are the American people getting a choice - or being dictated to?
Airplane knife rules
still make no sense
For the past 40 years or so, I have carried a pocket knife - nothing huge, a Case or a single-bladed Swiss Army knife. But for the past 12 years, that tool has been seen as a weapon with which some people suspect I might try to take over the plane on which I'm flying, crash it into something, and kill hundreds of people. Actually, I carry it so I can open envelopes, cut a piece of fruit, remove a manufacturer's tag from a new shirt, or possibly shuck a clam.
Because of Transportation Security Administration regulations, I have to pack my knife in my suitcase and check in that bag - typically for $25 each way. I have never been arrested, have been working for our state university for almost 35 years, live an upstanding life, pay my taxes and don't beat my dog. But still I am seen as a huge security threat when I fly. And if one asks why, I am told it's for my own protection.
Well, I'm pretty sick and tired of all the people out there doing whatever their lawyers say because it is "for my own protection."
The new proposed regulations for allowing knives on board allow blades up to 3.25 inches. The length of my Swiss Army knife is 3.75 inches. So, I still will have to keep paying for my bag to be sequestered in the luggage hold of the plane and pay the $50 round trip.
This is absolutely ludicrous. Let me check my knife at the gate, and give it back to me when I reach my destination. Put it in an obvious bag, tie it around my neck and unlock it when I get to the other end. But don't make me, or the thousands of other people who carry a knife as a tool, have to pay the airlines more money to travel just because of poorly conceived and poorly solved responses to terrorist mindsets.
Professor/Marine Extension Agent
Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Republicans are why
Republicans lost election
A Feb. 28 letter - "How did Obama win re-election?" - suggested that President Barack Obama won because "millions of low-information voters wanted more free stuff," an obvious reference to the 47 percent cited in Mitt Romney's infamous and disdainful remark to a gathering of his wealthy supporters.
The letter writer either forgets or is unaware that the great majority of the 47 percent are veterans, senior citizens, the disabled and the working poor, all of whom have paid a price, in one way or another, for their "free stuff." Perhaps one reason Romney lost is that those folks were offended by his insulting characterization of them as takers and moochers.
And there are other possible reasons, more plausible than the writer's, for why Romney lost. Perhaps voters came to recognize his campaign persona for what it was - an Etch A Sketch flip-flopper willing to change his position on a number of issues for the sole purpose of trying to get votes. Then there's the Republican Party's undemocratic attempt in a number of states to suppress the turnout of likely Democratic voters, through unneeded voter ID laws.
Or perhaps a demographically changing electorate - more diverse, less rural, with fewer "angry old white men" - has become less susceptible to the national Republican Party's approach to politics and its hostility to women, its bragging about its unwillingness to compromise and its opposition to clean air and water regulations. Perhaps the reason Romney lost is none other than the Republican Party and its candidate.