I Have a Gripe

May 23, 2010

Princeton’s Immigration Policy

Today, Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, NJ implemented their own version of an immigration policy by providing members of the “Princeton community” the opportunity to purchase an identification card. The best part? This ID card will be provided regardless of immigration status. This card will allow illegal immigrants to get a library card, cash checks and yes, even get health care. While this is not an official form of government identification, the police feel that these cards will help them do their job.

Now, many say that Arizona’s law will promote racial profiling. The ID cards are a project through the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund. So my question is, if people are so worried about racial profiling against Hispanics, why is a Hispanic organization sponsoring this project?

I am far from a legal scholar, but why is it objectionable for Arizona to develop an immigration policy to deal with a massive problem, but Princeton is essentially developing their own immigration policy that welcome’s illegals? I’m sorry, but I find this highly offensive. Why are we welcoming people whose very presence is against the law? Hundreds of thousands of people come to this country legally every year. Why should these people be allowed to have the same, or in some cases more, resources as those who are following all the right steps and legal channels? I say absolutely not.

I would like to know when are going to stop thinking if we are just “nice” to the entire world, then the entire world will finally like us. When did we as a nation become so wimpy that we allow the President of another country come to our Congress and complain about a law and get a standing ovation from part of our representatives?

President Calderone, have you read your country’s immigration policy recently? Maybe you should review your policies before you throw rocks in the glass house. If you were able to keep your country in order, your residents wouldn’t be leaving in droves. In reality, we as a nation should be billing you to take all these Mexican nationals on! Think about that.

May 19, 2010

I’m Sorry Mr. Cavuto, You’re Wrong

Let’ me start out by saying I am a long-admirer of Neil Cavuto.  He is both incredibly articulate and intelligent. He has overcome multiple health problems with grace and honesty. He is certainly someone of personal and professional accomplishment and a great role model.

On the way home each day, I listen to Your World on satellite radio. Each show ends with a personal commentary by Cavuto called Common Sense. I will say I agree with his point of view on politics, business and every day life more than a majority of the time. However, today, I must say I was very disappointed with his commentary about the “thin skinned teachers of New Jersey.”

He spoke of merit pay and compared it to other jobs that receive pay increases based on job performance. First off, if you, Mr. Cavuto, have received fair increases based on your performance, good for you. Like most of the people I know, that is not normally the case and has not often been my personal experience. Most increases in the private sector (in my experiences) are more related to playing the corporate game, sucking up to management and other under-handed office-politic maneuvers. While I have, on rare occasion, like others, received fair increases for performance, it is as I said earlier – well, rare.

Now let’s look at the public sector, like teachers. You said that teachers should be held to the same standard. That teachers are doing their students a disservice otherwise “that when they grow up, they either perform on their job, or they loose their job.”

Let’s think about that statement for a moment. I know many teachers who try to teach values like these in their classrooms. That there are winners and sadly, losers, in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, you are forgetting one important factor – the parents. The parents that often bully teachers into overlooking their child’s poor behavior, half-hearted homework assignments and failed tests. The parents that often make excuses for their children. The parents are the ones that are creating this “touchy, feely” environment today. Where, to quote you from an earlier commentary, “every kid gets a trophy for simply showing up.” The parents that are teaching them no matter what, someone else will fix it for you.

You also used the example of “the CEO that seeks his company’s stock swoon, then his corner office soon gone.” Well, we both know, if the CEO’s company’s stock declines, the CEO will get a golden parachute and continue to live the good life. So, this is not the best analogy either.

I completely agree that teachers should be held accountable, but how do you handle merit pay? More standardized testing? We all know how great that works. What about fine and performing arts? How do you determine if an art teacher is doing a good job? If the kids are all Picasso’s? And what about music? Is the music teacher only doing a good job is the child can sing like Pavarotti or play cello like Yo Yo Ma? Last time I checked, there’s no standardized test for fine and performing arts, so I guess that will continue to be decimated by the public school program.

You tell teachers, “this is the real world.” Well, I say teachers know better than most what the real world is. Teachers are expected to repeatedly do more with less, often purchase supplies for their classroom with their own money and are regularly the butt-end of jokes and abuse by people who have no idea what it is to manage a classroom or, God forbid, protect students in a Columbine-like attack.

Teachers know all too well, what the real world is all about Mr. Cavuto. On this one, you’re wrong.

May 15, 2010

Specter, Kagan and “Present”

This past week, President Obama announced his pick for the Supreme Court. Elena Kagan would replace soon-to-retire Justice John Paul Stevens. Kagan enjoyed bipartisan support when she was nominated for Solictor General about one year ago. That is, except for Senator Arlen Specter.

Let’s be upfront. I don’t like Senator Specter. He changes his opinions, along with his party affiliation, to cover his backside and keep himself in office. Personally, I hope he gets voted out in the upcoming election.

In typical Specter fashion, when Kagan went before the Senate for her final vote, he voted “present.”

Now I did lots of research online and was unable to find any specific information on how the present vote exactly works and when its use began. If anyone can provide specific information, I would be very appreciative.

Not that a Solicitor General vote is a “simple vote,” but this wasn’t a vote to go to war or extend unemployment benefits. This was a vote to approve one individual to a government position. Even this he couldn’t take a stand. Some say present is a “soft no,” but honestly, I’m not really sure.

So, I respectfully request Senator Specter actually make a decision and vote “aye” or “nay” on this vote and not take the spineless way out and vote “present.”

May 8, 2010

See Something, Say Something

This past week there was a terrorism scare in New York City at the famed Times Square. Thanks to two observant street vendors (and veterans), a quick moving investigation by the NYPD, FBI and I am sure lots of others we will never hear about arrested a suspect just days later. This taught the entire country the NYC mantra – see something, say something.

It is important to alert authorities if you see something that looks questionable or suspicious. I have actually reported two suspicious items since 9-11; one was just a few a weeks ago. I was getting on the 33rd Street PATH when I saw a bag without an owner. I couldn’t find anyone, so when I arrived in Hoboken, I found an officer and a PATH worker and told them exactly what I saw and where I saw it. They thanked me for reporting it and said they would dispatch someone to investigate. I’m sure it was nothing because I never heard anything on the news, but it was still important to report what I saw.

Another time I was driving home on Rt. 280 when I saw a large drum upright in the median. I hadn’t seen it the day before, so I pulled over and called the local police to explain what I saw. They transferred me to the New Jersey State Troopers so I can report what I saw. I started with the explanation, “I’m not a nut, but there is something on Rt. 280 that wasn’t there yesterday.” They told me not to feel like “a nut” and thanked me for reporting the information.

So, in the end, I hope everyone follows the advice of the NYPD and if you see something, say something!

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