Author Archive: monmouthhouse

Gun Debate

In light of current events with gun control and violence, one place that must feel heat is Wild West City. It’s located in Netcong New Jersey. The town is a recreation of a wild west city with train rides, horses and gunslingers.

One has to wonder in today’s climate how such a place can thrive in New Jersey. In the first place, they do have train rides, music, authors and activities from May to October, its not just gunslingers.

In what is probably a good business move and just plain sense, they have a written out policy on gun violence on their website. The summary of the policy is that guns were needed and plentiful in the old west. That doesn’t mean the situation is the same today. Guns are weapons and are to be treated with responsibility.  

You don’t hear an articulate thought like that in the current debate. The statement wasn’t about votes. It wasn’t about hoarding weaponry, it was a statement of fact meant to offend no one. I hope this place can continue to educate and excite patrons through the summer.  

New Jersey National Guard Museum

The New Jersey National Guard Museum is located in Sea Girt. If you’re looking for a place to see on a day trip, please look this up. There are jets and tanks out front that one can go right up to and touch. Inside the museum are uniforms from the Revolutionary War right up to current uniforms.

I don’t write this as a promotion for a place. I write this because this is our history. Regardless of your political leaning, this museum came about by our neighbors, our families and our citizens. We should see how the Sea Girt grounds were home to Presidents and Governors who came to review troops. New Jersey participated in every war since the Revolution.

To spend time in a place like this, you’ll see why we choose to live in New Jersey. Why do we want to make New Jersey a better place?

We owe it to our past and our future.

This museum shows what we did in the past. The people that volunteer there truly care about the history and what they have on display.

I urge everyone to take a look at this museum.  

Woodrow Wilson by A Scott Berg

Last year A. Scott Berg put out a book on Woodrow Wilson that made the best sellers list. Wilson is known as a former New Jersey governor that became President of the United States, but he was actually born in Virginia.

I bring up this book on this site because Wilson’s world view came into focus during his time in Princeton as both student and later faculty. This makes him a leader of progressive causes that even today we’re still adapting to and in some cases falling behind.

His presidential term started on domestic issues such as voting rights and worker rights. Things changed when there were issues with the Mexican government and of course, World War II.

There are several reviews of this book on Goodreads. Please check it out.  

Governor’s Greatest Hits

I read that Governor Christie gave a town hall meeting two days ago. The main topic according to the newspapers was that pension reform is needed. Apparently the reforms of three years ago didn’t fix everything in the budget.

After Bridgegate and the Sandy fund debacles, the Governor went back to what works. “Hey remember this old classic? You liked me when I went on about state worker pensions? Let’s do that one again. The pro-Christie audience swooned and remembered the good old days of slamming state workers and teachers. Too bad it was the same old song with no new chorus or verse.  

It’s been awhile

I haven’t posted in a long while. There are many reasons, time, work, remembering my password (which I have to find a link to tell me how to change it). The news in the state has been so negative in the past four years. It’s sad that there’s more money to be made from fear and hate than accentuating our positives.

I want to be part of this conversation because there are many positives to a progressive view, a popular view, a trusting view.

Our history is so complex and rich that we should see what we’ve overcome and use that to improve our future rather than let the negative radio station, newspaper or websites control the conversations.  

Do words matter to journalists?

I watched the national VP debate yesterday. I’m not going into the heart of it here as there are plenty of places for that. I’m disgusted that every newspaper felt that the only story of the hour and half debate was that Joe Biden smiled.

The statistics, the policies, the projections get minor paragraphs at the end of the story. Newspapers think the real story was that Joe Biden laughed or smiled. Was the smile rude? Was the smile too dramatic? Was the smile genuine?

What about the words that came out of those mouths?

Journalists took writing courses, why don’t they report the words of the debates?

Are journalists just not that smart or do they think we’re not smart?

Moorestown Library

A huge building is obscured by trees and business signs. The façade is plain brown.

The Moorestown Library isn’t impressive from the busy street, but it’s impressive from every other angle.

A building is so long it takes up the whole block. Bookshelf aisles go on and on.  The main part of the library is bright and open. Aisles are roomy. I walked around for a while and still didn’t make it to the back.

The music section by the reference desk is impressive, not because of size, but of quality. I saw box sets from Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, Elvis, Big Bands and rows of single CDs.

The meeting room had a stage and plenty of seating.

All these physical traits made for a pleasant building and atmosphere, but the true part that made the place impressive was the people inside. Teens hung out on the stairs. Parents brought kids. Readers sat under trees in front and read books. There were seats inside filled with readers. The reference desk was staffed by two knowledgeable  and friendly women.

I was part of an author panel held in the main meeting room. The room was packed. People bought books from the authors. They traded publishing stories with the audience and the authors. There were free gifts. It looked like every one, author and audience had a good time.

I get the feeling that Moorestown is a fantastic town just by the reception and care of their library.

I posted a blog a few months back about other libraries. In a time of austerity and cuts, our libraries are still a part of our town’s personality. The libraries change with the times and continue to be needed in our towns.  

Book Festival

This Saturday is the Collingswood book Festival. I know this site isn’t to advertise events or products. I want to tell you about this event because it’s important to New Jersey.

The festival is down Haddon Avenue, a main thorofare. The town actually shuts down a main street to support book sellers, publishers and authors. Businesses are still open, but there are no cars on the road.

The authors and publishers are mostly local. There aren’t many chances to see so many authors from your own neighborhoods gathered in one spot. Some of the authors are published on small presses that aren’t carried by big bookstores. This is a chance to see those local authors and their books. The publishers such as Plexus, print books about New Jersey.

What a way to promote your own state and it’s artists.  

Christie’s Communication Department

According to the Sunday Asbury Park Press dated September 8, 2012, the Governor’s Communication staff grew to 14 people. That doesn’t sound like much. As a taxpayer, there is one thing that bothers me. The Governor hired people to post videos to Youtube, 600 videos according to the article.

I download, share and like videos for fun and there is someone getting a lucrative salary for that. There are many 16 year olds looking for a first job that would love that.  

10% Tax Break

This past weekend, I got a form letter from Senator Beck and Assembly women Angelini and Casagrande. They explained that this state is soooo overtaxed and I should help them fight Democratic plans to stop Governor Christie’s 10% tax break. They even sent a reply card that they will show as proof of people’s anger.

This is one more example of how bad the representatives of this area of Monmouth County are. The governor could pay into the state pension fund to improve our credit rating. He could build up our Transportation Fund so businesses can send their trucks out on smooth roads. He could add more state troopers so business won’t be afraid of their stuff stolen from parking lots.

Those investments are too difficult for the three from Monmouth so instead we’re stuck with three slackers looking for re-election headlines. I would send their response card with this blog post, but they would only throw it out. They only listen to what they want to hear.

I would love a tax break, but I want to live and work in safety. There’s a cost for doing that.

So were stuck with these representatives with no real plan for the future  and no way out of the state’s financial mess.