Author Archive: Paul Aronsohn

What Martin Luther King would say as a Jersey guy today

promoted by Rosi

Cross posted wih the Star Ledger

Imagine that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is still alive.

Imagine, for a moment, that he is still here on Earth … living, preaching, advocating and leading. Imagine that he is here to celebrate his 84th birthday before heading down to Washington tomorrow to witness the second inauguration of the first African-American president.

And imagine that he has followed the path taken by many prominent leaders – such as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Richard Nixon – and decided to spend his later years living right here in New Jersey.

Something tells me King would have a lot to say. From civil rights to economic justice to war, he would likely have strong views on the full range of contemporary topics. Voter disenfranchisement. Disability rights. Fiscal cliffs. Income inequality. Health care reform. Sandy. Newtown. Afghanistan. Terrorism.  

The Governor’s Language

This time he crossed the line.

By calling on the press to “take a bat out on” State Senator Loretta Weinberg, the Governor crossed the line of decency.  Such violent language has absolutely no place in our public discourse.

Granted, the statement was uttered – actually, almost shouted – in the heat of the moment, and the Governor probably did not mean much by it.  After all, he is known for making outrageous, provocative statements.  

But his use of such loaded rhetoric took his bluster to a new, dangerous level.

The last time many of us heard the expression “take a bat” was when actor Mel Gibson’s audio messages to his girlfriend were released last summer – messages that revealed in shocking detail an abusive relationship full of hate and intolerance and violence.  

Obviously, we deserve more from our Governor, and all of us – regardless of our political leanngs – should demand more from him.  This type of language is not to be tolerated.

At a minimum, Governor Christie should apologize and use this as a teachable moment – one that demonstrates that even the nation’s most powerful governor recognizes and admits when he has made a mistake, particularly one with such grave implications.  And he should lead the effort to inject greater civility in our state’s public discussion of policy and politics.  

Following the tragic shooting earlier this year in Arizona, there was a national dialogue concerning the need for civility in public life.    Elected officials from across the country and across the political spectrum spoke of the need to tone down the rhetoric and to take greater care with what we say and how we say it.  Even Governor Christie himself joined the discussion, by rightly noting that, “In a civilized society like America, we have to treat each other civilly.”

Suffice it to say, Governor Christie should heed his own advice.

Dumb and Dumber

The dumb stuff and the dumber stuff is after the jump.

– Promoted from the diaries by Rosi

Put aside the Blue Law issue.  Put aside their defense of indefensible cuts to social services and education.  And still, Bergen Republican leaders had a banner week – one that underscored a fundamental point:  These folks are not ready for primetime.

Republican Chairman Misses the Mark

(A much edited version of this appears in today’s Record newspaper.)

It was a real disservice – to the members of his organization as well as to the rest of us.

Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin recently took to the pages of The Record to launch the first political attack of this political year.   Gearing up for this November’s big race – Bergen County Executive – the Chairman outlined his case against what he termed “the malfeasance at One Bergen Plaza”.

In his diatribe against the Democratic Party, he railed against the excesses of County government.  He railed against a “lavishly paid” school superintendent. And he railed against “overpaid” consultants and lawyers.

The problem for Republicans is that his article actually sets them up for failure this fall.  And the problem for the rest of us is that it offered us nothing new, nothing productive, and nothing genuine.    

 

Blue Star Families

Promoted from the diaries by Rosi. As one year closes and another begins I hope we all remember we have people so far away and at risk, and that their families need all the support their country can give them, because their worry should be on all our shoulders.

News reports about the latest deployments of NJ National Guard airmen are instructive.  

They remind us that the war in Iraq continues.  They remind us that we live in a dangerous world.  And they remind us that there are some extraordinary people among us – people willing to risk their lives to save ours.

They should also remind us that behind these extraordinary men and women are some extraordinary families — families whose story is often untold … whose heroism is often unsung … and whose needs are often unmet.

About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Ridgewood’s annual “Blue Star” dinner – an event that pays tribute to the families of men and women currently serving in the military.  My wife and I were so moved by the experience that I wrote about it for the Ridgewood News and The Record.  A copy of the op-ed is pasted below.  

Needless to say, these “Blue Star” families need our support and deserve our gratitude – now more than ever.    So please contact your local American Legion post or family support organization.  Call your local elected officials.   Reach out to “Blue Star” families in your community.  And pray – long and hard – for these extraordinary families and the safe return of their extraordinary loved ones.

Thank you….

Paul

A Wake-Up Call

Promoted from the diaries by Rosi

Wow.  What an election.  The Statehouse.  The Freeholder Boards.  The Borough  Halls. Across the State and across the board, Democrats lost big at the ballot box as New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly for change.  

This is particularly true here in Bergen County, where we Democrats are still trying to make sense of it all.  Why did it happen?  What are the implications?  What should we do next?

A Wake-Up Call

Wow.  What an election.  The Statehouse.  The Freeholder Boards.  The Borough  Halls. Across the State and across the board, Democrats lost big at the ballot box as New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly for change.  

This is particularly true here in Bergen County, where we Democrats are still trying to make sense of it all.  Why did it happen?  What are the implications?  What should we do next?

A Wake-Up Call

Wow.  What an election.  The Statehouse.  The Freeholder Boards.  The Borough  Halls. Across the State and across the board, Democrats lost big at the ballot box as New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly for change.  

This is particularly true here in Bergen County, where we Democrats are still trying to make sense of it all.  Why did it happen?  What are the implications?  What should we do next?

A Wake-Up Call

Wow.  What an election.  The Statehouse.  The Freeholder Boards.  The Borough  Halls. Across the State and across the board, Democrats lost big at the ballot box as New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly for change.  

This is particularly true here in Bergen County, where we Democrats are still trying to make sense of it all.  Why did it happen?  What are the implications?  What should we do next?

A Wake-Up Call

Wow.  What an election.  The Statehouse.  The Freeholder Boards.  The Borough  Halls. Across the State and across the board, Democrats lost big at the ballot box as New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly for change.  

This is particularly true here in Bergen County, where we Democrats are still trying to make sense of it all.  Why did it happen?  What are the implications?  What should we do next?