Archive for the ‘Planet Jersey’ Category

Gentleman Jon Corzine Fumbles Again: But the Posse Once Again Gets Him

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Look for little sympathy in most taxpaying quarters of New Jersey for (thankfully) former Governor Corzine after he successfully sank his firm, MF Global, through bad decisions.

Those of us suffering Planet Jersey inhabitants will recall that before Mssr. Corzine spun his magic at MF Global, he was Chief Executive of the Garden State.  Faced with an imminent fiscal crisis requiring bold and decisive action (which would only come from his successor Chris Christie), and beholden to no one given his extensive wealth and ability to bankroll his campaigns, Mr. Corzine nonetheless only nipped and trimmed at the edges of state spending so as not to offend the government worker’s unions.  And who will ever forget his supercilious appearance at a Trenton government worker’s rally late in his term where he declared his allegiance with them, as opposed to all of the stakeholders, especially and including the taxpayers, in New Jersey?  If politicians could be held for breach of fiduciary duty, that would have been a prime case.

Contrast such position as a governor with him as a CEO who cut workers at MF Global right after he took the helm, in order to right the ship.  Apparently the ship of state of New Jersey, and its taxpayers, were not as important as the shareholders of MF Global.

And Mr. Corzine’s attributed remark “Europe wouldn’t let these countries go down” to justify his risky bond positins at MF Global takes us into an alternative reality where the voters of New Jersey decided to keep him on for another term.  Mr. Corzine would likely have done little more in his second term to reign in New Jersey’s fiscal mess and likely would have sought the federal government to bail it out which could have precipitated an avalanche of such handouts.  Thank God for Jersey electoral miracles.

The rough and undeniable justice is that Mr. Corzine has been called out twice for his shenanigans: by the New Jersey voters and the markets.

-I.M. Windee

Weekend Observations

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

It was another frantic weekend, but still, some observations made:

  • Why do so many people in front of an ATM suddenly act like they are an alien just dropped onto this planet and learning our culture?
  • I walked, barefooted, for about a half mile on the boardwalk.  I don’t know who invented footwear, but I’d kiss the person’s hand if I ever met them.
  • I cleaned my car out from several weeks of savage and brutal treatment by my 6 and 9 year old.  2 thoughts: thank God for the EPA and can a car qualify as a Super-fund clean-up site?
  • Does anyone really believe that the detour signs will ultimately get you back to your intended destination?
  • It’s hot out but I’m not even gonna consider going to the beach; my calendar says September so the summer’s over!  Actually, I’m not talking about me but others I know.
  • Why does the person driving 5 miles under the speed-limit always make it through the yellow light? It almost seems like an epiphany of the gas pedal occurs when green changes.
  • Why does the recycling center have to be an unnerving experience? I’m told that the paper can go in either cardboard or the regular paper bin; and glass and plastic can be “commingled.” That kind of “loosey-goosey” approach offends my sense of order as an accountant.  Each one should have their own separate containers, and everything in each counted.
  • Why do families on tv commercials have no resemblance to any family I know, let alone any human being on this planet?
  • Why can most drivers behind me read the VIN # on my dashboard better than I can?  Oh, yes! I have bad eyesight.  I knew there was a logical answer.
  • Thanks for the option, but I trust the person at the window of the fast-food restaurant so if there’s a slight discrepancy in my change back, I’ll assume honest mistake.  Now, is there a hotline for overpriced menu items?
  • Electronic parking meters are not easy to navigate.
  • Why do Monday mornings suddenly have a luster they never had when I was younger?

-I.M. Windee

Ruminations from Asbury Park; God’s Sense of Humor

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

I took the family (or they took me) to the Asbury Park beach this weekend.

For those who do not know of it, it is a historically rich seaside city on the Jersey shore.  Its heyday clearly occurred in the first half of last century and by the 1970s, I recall it, as a very young child being taken there by my grandparents and parents, as being virtually dead, at least by the boardwalk.  The Great Society had taken its toll.

But about 10 or so years ago a transformation occurred.  Businesses moved in because, in part, the city government became more friendly (less hostile) to them.  President Obama could take note from such example as he constantly wields the populist sledgehammer against this country’s wealth-creators.

The beach is brimming with people of all walks of life.  And the influx of the alternative-lifestyle (read: gay) community deserves great credit for the transformation that seemed decades away, if at all.

There is far deeper discussion in the future on such matter, but here are a couple of “beachside observations”:

  • Why are gay men more affectionate to each other than heterosexual couples?
  • I have no problem with the fact that for some women, I cannot compete for their affections like other women can.  I do, though, feel extremely threatened when such women can throw a football far better than I could ever dream of.
  • While slouched and slovenly in my beach chair, a solid 30 pounds overweight and not caring about such, I realized, and pointed out to my wife, that many gay men have everything that a heterosexual woman would want in a man: sensitivity, good grooming, and good looks.  Yet they lack that one critical ingredient: interest in females.  God truly does have a sense of humor, or at least a sense of irony.
  • Was Judy Garland gay?
  • As a big Civil War fan, I can appreciate the reverence for Confederate General Thomas Jackson (perhaps America’s greatest General), but I didn’t realize there were so many followers of his in Asbury Park as evidenced by their “Stonewall” t-shirts.  Perhaps we, as a society, are more connected to history than I thought.
  • Sitting on the beach…closing my eyes…I hear Paul Lynde on Hollywood Squares (a comedian and show I greatly enjoyed watching).
  • Why is the Greek way even considered by anyone? Their fiscal house is a mess! Who would want to emulate that?
  • I think I saw Ellen Degeneres on the beach….2 dozen times.  Or was that Rachel Maddow?

Aside from my trite observations, it is good to see Asbury Park back and (hopefully) prospering; it’s long overdue.

-I.M. Windee

More Afterthoughts from Irene

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

By: I.M. Windee

Having just drained that great Central Jersey swamp otherwise known as my basement, I have come to realize that God created basements to contain water; humanity foolishly decided to add the oh so temporary function of storage.


Admittedly, before this storm, I had a bias against JCP&L (“Just Can’t Power & Light” hereinafter, “Just Can’t”]), my sporadic electricity supplier.  You see, every time there is a slight breeze, the power flickers and then occasionally goes out.  “Just Can’t” blames mischievous squirrels (or woodchucks flatulating in the woods) but that raises 2 (at least) scary questions: does “Just Can’t” really believe customers will accept that squirrels can unleash such destructive power outages or, more frightening, is the electricity grid that feeble?

“Just Can’t” needs to answer such question.

Second Guessing the Government After Irene & My Son’s ‘Bestest Day Ever!’

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

By: I.M. Windee

We survived Hurricane Irene and, naturally, the Monday Morning Quarterbacks are out in full force blaming government (specifically: Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Christie) for not having the prescience of Johnny Carson’s “Carnac” regarding Hurricane Irene as the hurricane was less forceful than predicted.


Part of the problem is, ironically, caused by those politicians who claim that government can solve all problems that the citizenry faces.  So perhaps there is rough justice for liberal proponents when it misfires with a solution, as government often does.

But for my clearheaded conservative colleagues to get heartburn over the fact that government erred on the side of caution is a bit overwrought.  After all, our breed is desperately in search of something that government doesn’t do wrong (or at least does slightly right). This could be as close we will ever get.


As I was dragging up my x-teenth bucket of water from the flooded basement, my 6 year-old son declared “Daddy, this is the bestest day ever!”  Out of the mouths of babes….


All Ashore! Irene Heads to New York; People, Save Thyself

Friday, August 26th, 2011

If forecasts are correct, the New York City Area will bear the brunt of Hurricane Irene this weekend.  Our restive landlord, Mother Nature, is clearly not finished with New York City after dispatching the after-effects of a Virginia earthquake earlier in the week, to little avail.

Civil authorities are taking the proper precautions by shutting down mass transportation to discourage the public from going out into the expected storm mayhem as well as evacuating those from suspected flood areas.  Mayor Bloomberg is out in full force doing the public a service by forewarning them of the dangers ahead.  Still, one cannot wonder if he is kicking off the campaign for his fourth term as mayor of the Big Apple.

Kudos to Governor Christie for telling idiotic hurricane watchers in Asbury Park to “get the hell off of the beach.”  Perhaps the New Jersey Education Association leadership can take solace in the fact that he treats all members of the same class equally.

And given the government’s overreach in our lives, resulting in an expectation from many that it is the cure for any and all problems we face, it cannot be said loud enough that the safety of individuals for this hurricane, and all similar calamities, is in the hands of each individual, themselves.  This means getting out of areas that may become a danger zone during the hurricane and having adequate supplies after the worst has hit and civil normality is not back online.  Despite the ongoing message that President Obama may have given since in office, government clearly cannot save every person out there whether standing on beach shoals or the shoals of life.

Finally, a good word must be put in for the citizenry of the New York metropolitan area.  Highly caricatured, and often rightly so, the goodness of New Yorkers, like all Americans, comes out when the chips are down.  9/11 clearly showed that.  When the cleanup starts, look for stories of all-too common New York valor.

No matter how this hurricane plays out, either in stoicism, heroism, or something in between, I believe that New Yorkers will prove worthy of the label of that hearty and ultimately noble breed, “New Yorker.”


-I.M. Windee

“Gentleman Jim” Florio Plays the Class War Card

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

-By: I.M. Windee

With the epic financial disaster that New Jersey government and its citizens are facing, it is always hoped that an elder statesman rises to the occasion and provides leadership, albeit from the armchair.  Alas, such is not the case at least with formver 1-term governor Jim Florio.

In an Asbury Park Press article on Sunday, August 14, Mr. Florio regurgitates the typical liberal bromide to correct government’s fiscal irresponsibility.  Of course, he did not come out and state such directly, he merely hinted in Clintonesque-manner that the burden “appears to be on those who benefited most from policies of the recent past…”  It doesn’t take a Kremlinologist to figure out he means that group of people with a seemingly endless well of money: “the rich”.  Never mind that such people are taxed to the teeth here on “Planet Jersey” and are leaving the state to avoid a crushing tax burden.

It must be noted that this is the same wealth transfer expert that brought the New Jersey heavy truck industry to its knees with a sales tax before the people of New Jersey revolted and the legislature repealed it in 1990.  Perhaps some people, even 1-termers, never learn from their mistakes.



Union Hiccups: The UAW Sees the Light and All about the Kids?

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

By: I.M. Windee

Last week, UAW President Bob King stated that the “old ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality” is a relic and the financial viability of the automakers is important. Better late than never, perhaps, but there are probably many former “Old GM” and
“Old Chrysler” stakeholders who would disagree.

For those who were caught up in their lives or may have forgotten, a refresher is in order.  Many decades of a confrontational stance by the unions, and ultimate kowtowing to union leaderships’ demands by management stuffing their own satchels, resulted in the bankruptcy of both GM and Chrysler in 2009, resulting in equity owners being wiped out and creditors getting pennies to the dollar.  Although common and convenient folklore is that such only affected “the rich” and Wall St. barons, it hurt many older, middle class folks (think: the World War II generation) who believed that both the workers and management would never sell out the way they did.

Meanwhile, over at the teacher’s unions, recently revealed on their website via a PowerPoint was the cynical maneuver by the leadership of the American Federation of Teachers to scuttle “parent trigger.”  For those not familiar with “parent trigger,” it is the ability of parents to vote to have a failing school change management, generally.

Of course, the teacher’s union leadership was against such as their sole, though unstated, mission, is to preserve and grow the dues-paying ranks, which keeps costs high.

And there is a larger lesson here for both government worker unions and spendthrift politicians, especially here on “Planet Jersey.” To wit: the taxpayers (including “the rich”) are not some endless “horn of plenty” that can support any and all programs. The more taxes are taken from the economy, the less prosperous it becomes, and the less it is able to support government. A sort of slaying the of the goose  that lays the golden eggs.

All of this suggests that, perhaps, we are a long way from the Sylvester Stallone movie F.I.S.T. that portrays 1930’s unions as a necessary and good force.

Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the need and role of unions in the U.S. economy.