Taking Shelter from the Socialist Storm

“When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark.  At the end of the storm is a golden sun and the sweet silver song of the lark.”  “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Carousel, 1945.

After leaving KL’s house yesterday to help her prepare for the storm – I live in a much drier section of town than she does – I took Riverdale Road out to the highway to get to Staples.  There I discovered the perfect Smart Growth community, layed out exactly as described in their books:  a monstrous-five story apartment building in the midst of an industrial park.

People don’t realize it, but it’s the stuff of nightmares.  This new Riverdale is not exactly a company town of the 19th Century, but it’s certainly the company town of the 21st.  All you’ll do is eat, sleep, go to work, and in your off-hours, play electronic games or watch propaganda television telling you what a great leader Obama is.  That’s what they do in China.  Nobody cares about politics or freedom; as long as they’re a member of the Party, they can count on a job.

Glenn Beck and the Blaze are reporting that at the moment, Obama has the electoral votes to win, but that it’s close.  We are duty-bound to do everything in our power to elect Mitt Romney to presidency.  What’s happening out there in the suburban neighborhoods, stores and malls, however, is that many people have chosen not to vote at all.  They definitely don’t like Obama but the brainwashing about Mitt Romney has worked.  He’s been branded an evil billionaire and just another Republican.  For the everyday, working class people, the label is sticking.

Still, Romney’s numbers are up, which means not everyone has bought the lie.  Hurricane Sandy may give us an assist – or not.  The storm surge coming up New York Bay is going to flood out low-lying sections of New Jersey’s liberal cities, particularly Jersey City, probably Newark, and definitely Asbury Park.  The storm is going to go west and then make a hook northward over Pennsylvania.  What goes up must come down, and those waters will eventually reach northern New Jersey’s main rivers.  Hurricane Irene did quite a lot of damage in Paterson.

The election is going to be close, and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst.  Under Obama, what’s left of our credit and credibility will vanish, like the Jersey Shore sands under Hurricane Sandy.  The sand can only be replaced at great cost to the taxpayers.  A sort of “Sandulus” will have to be instituted in order to restore the beaches so the resort towns don’t go under water, literally and figuratively.  So it will be with our economy, if Hurricane Obama erodes our free market economic base and leaves America exposed to her competitors and debtors.

Stock up on non-perishable foods as soon as you can.  Inflation has set in and the prices are only going to get worse.  If you don’t have a large freezer, but have the room and the money for one, invest in one.  Some people are able to store up to a year’s worth of food in one of these big freezers.

Be prepared also for the onslaught against your children.  Children and young people are teetering on the precipice.  Pushing them over the edge into blind acceptance is an easy task.  Your children will be like the students of China.  They made a brave stand at Tianamen Square in the 1980s.  But after seeing a thousand students slaughtered in that demonstration, students took to sticking their heads in the sand, the same way American students do.

Some of us are collecting books that tell the truth about what has happened to America, financially, culturally, and religiously.  That someone would throw away a bible, be it only a children’s bible, is an unsettling sign.  If we lose God as our authority, there will be no one to turn to for help.  Some people can be trusted; others cannot, and they are the ones being voted into office.

If we don’t remove Obama from office, he will tax middle class families right out of their homes.  Pompton Lakes, between the DuPont flume and the flood zone, is a prime example of how the government will use its environmental powers to seize land and power.  There’s also Bloomingdale.  A government that can declare a pristine (never developed) woodland a “blighted area” can do anything.

They’re counting on time, class envy, the gender gap, and the Generation Gap to do the job for it.  The destruction of the nuclear family and even the extended family is key to destroying America.  Exploit the generation gap and you will have a younger generation that simply will not heed the lessons the older generation is trying to teach it.  The young are naturally stubborn.  The government hopes to downgrade their quest for freedom, for a family life, for financial independence in exchange for security and an easy lifestyle.

Mom and Dad always said there was an order to things:  God, country, family.  I asked them why country came before family.  They said that without a free country, having a family wouldn’t be possible, and that without God, freedom wouldn’t be possible.

There’s only one way to talk to God, and that’s through prayer, whether it’s the on-your-knees variety, or bowing your head and folding your hands at the table, meditating, or reading the Bible.  He’s willing to be there for us, but we must ask for His help.  He won’t just give it to us.  Or maybe He will.  However it is, we must trust in his wisdom and justice; not the Government’s.

“Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.”  Carousel, 1945.

 

 

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Published in: on October 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm  Comments (1)  

“Sandy” Insanity

You’d think we New Jerseyans had never been through a hurricane before.  Back in 1985, Hurricane Gloria brushed us with her western edge.  Then there was Tropical Storm Floyd.  Guess he didn’t count because he got downgraded.  All the same, he sent Post Brook as high as anyone could ever remember it.

Garden Staters are freaking out.  People were asking directions for Lowes on Rt. 23, which was the last chance for anyone in northern New Jersey to buy a generator (I was stopped for gas and motorist asked me, “Do you live around here?  Do you know where Lowes is?”  Right up the highway.  I wonder if the people buying them realize how noisy they are?  Still, if you basement is filled to the ceiling with floodwater, who cares?  Wear earmuffs.

What I was doing so near to the bedlam that is the new Route 23 shopping strip?  Cell phone.  I couldn’t get airtime anymore for my old phone, so I decided to be a big spender and get a new one at Staples.  The market has definitely narrowed – AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile – or those two the same?  I decided to go with the tried-and-true.  AT&T has been around a long time, so maybe I won’t find my cell phone outdated in three years.

But the traffic!  Home Depot was packed.  Thank goodness I didn’t need to go in there.  Not a D battery was left in Stop & Shop, the A& P, or Shop Rite.  I’d had the good sense to buy a package of Ds about two months with a coupon when they were on sale.  I also have a AA flashlight.

So now I have the new cell phone.  Mom and Big Brother have the number.  My tablet is charged up.  All my outdoor furniture and Halloween decorations are in.  I was going to let the Scarecrow Family join me in the living room, but Daisy started eating Mother Scarecrow’s feet, so into the closet they went.  That’s all there is to hurricane preparation here in S.G.  I went down to the Ground Zero of our town to help my good friend KL get ready for the flood.

They’ve lost track of the number of times they’ve been flooded out.  She’s supposed to move to Pennsylvania for a job transfer but she and her husband are no sooner ready to sell the house than another flood comes along.  She said she got the company to wait until July.  However, when I mentioned the words “spring floods” she seemed to have second thoughts.  The L’s convinced FEMA to let them have one of those flood trailers, which can be driven out of the area.  

The flood plain people are great people; they help each other out packing up, moving things that can be moved and protecting what can’t.  Today was the L’s turn.  I showed up unexpectedly.  I miss KL.  I considered her my best word buddy.  Watching her work was great fun.  No one argued with General K.  She put me to work wrapping up the Christmas decorations and moving their library to the second floor.

Pretty soon, their other neighbors showed up and got them moving.  They told stories of previous floods and previous promises. On the way down, I noticed police barricading one of the streets and giving me a look as if to say, “Don’t even THINK of coming down this street!”  Seems the governor was coming to town.  By the time I got through with my circuit of chores, I could see many flashing lights at the Big Truck firehouse.  I shrugged and went home.  The only reason I knew Christie was there was because Mom called to tell me.  Yup, there he was – just a short drive down the road.  I still had too much to do, though.

Hurricane Sandy doesn’t worry me.  But our fire department does.  Every five years, they do a basement check.  If everything isn’t in beer and pretzels order, they fine you.  You can’t place anything within five feet of the water heaters.  Well – duhhh.  Believe it or not, though, people do those things.  A local fireman told me a story of how a house went up in flames when the owners placed wicker furniture next to the furnace.

You can’t block the electrical box.  Okay.  This year’s firehose-through-your-car-window rule is that you can’t have anything within two feet of the ceiling.  Well, the old color TV, PC monitor, and air conditioner were all out of date, anyway.  So I called Bigger Brother over to haul them away.  As a bonus, I gave him all of my ex sister-in-laws pocketbooks.  He was worried I was going to throw these expensive pocketbooks away and he wanted to give them to his current girlfriend.  God bless her, I said; take them!  Get these things out of my basement – I’m a two pocketbook woman.

I was glad for the excuse to get rid of all the junk in the basement.  I brought two carloads over to the Salvation Army.  What was left, I threw in our association dumpster.  When I opened the garbage bin, I was appalled to find someone had thrown out a Children’s Bible, and some other religious books.  That bible was in excellent condition.  Sometimes I just don’t know what people are thinking of.   So I plucked the poor bible and the other Jesus books out of the bin.  They are now a permanent part of my children’s book section. 

Meanwhile, my next-door-neighbor, the Tattooed Lady, inveigled or perhaps even bribed our landscapers on Tuesday to mow down all the tiger lilies and hosta plants (which were still in bloom) along the riverbank.  There is absolutely nothing now to stop the water from coursing down from the backyards across the parking lot, through the two curb cutaways that allow the maintenance vehicles through and right down the gulley that is the Tattooed Lady’s “backyard.”

I use the possessive term advisedly; it’s actually common ground.  None of us owns anything except our units, and she owns nothing at all, being a renter not an owner.  I e-mailed our property manager on Friday, and the Association Board came to look.  But the idiot maintenance guy decided it would be too much work.  In truth, there’s nothing they could do at that point.  So everyone just walked away.

Which is okay by me.  My spiteful neighbor claims she cut away all the plants because she “wanted to see the river.”  The chances that the river will come at this high are not very likely; it’s a very high bank.  Still, Tropical Storm Floyd set a new record, according to old-time tenants back in 1999.  The town played it safe this time, and released as much water as they could ahead of time.  Which is only get to get picked up by the storm again and find its way back here.  But that’s life at the Ground Zero of flooding, at least in northern New Jersey.  We should say a few prayers for Bound  Brook, N.J.; they’re going to get the eye of the storm.

As for the Tattooed Lady, even now, in 40 M.P.H. winds, she’s sitting out on her porch in the dark, “watching the river” even though it’s as dry as a desert gulch.  I hope she sits outside tomorrow, during the brunt of the hurricane (she’ll have to strap herself to her chair) and watch as what’s left of our soil goes cascading right off the cliff edge.

With any luck at all, it’ll take her barbecue patio with it.  Meanwhile, I’ll be relaxing on couch, after a long, hard weekend of lifting and carrying in anticipation of our fire department and Hurricane Sandy, listening to my favorite storm music, “Peaches and Screamers.”  The best thing about Hurricane winds is that they’ll drown out the Tattooed Lady.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wow! A War on Women?

Liberal, liberated women want to do something even their male counterparts can’t do:  have a career and have kids.  Not just create them but bear them as well.  They also want equal pay for equal work.  Still, no matter how you slice it, when your kid keeps getting sick and you have to take vacation or family leave days to deal with it, it’s going to affect your productivity.

Liberated women want men to be liberated, too, and do their fair share of taking off to take care of a kid.  They’re willing.  They don’t want to see their wives receive poor performance reviews and lower salaries.  Still, single moms (never married, divorced, some widowed) will bear the brunt of the childcare if they don’t have a husband to back them up.

What liberation has done for women is force them into the workforce, whether they want to be there or not.  There are enough women who are willing to forego the drudgery of childrearing for a more lucrative job in the business world, where they claim they feel “so fulfilled”!

Oh, please.  I’ve been in the working world all my life and so have the men – it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  However, the dual-income couples were able to afford to pay more for housing, and so now everyone must.  Not satisfied with modest homes, they’ve either bought, built or added onto existing houses, to prove that they’re living the good life.

Well, who can blame them?  But with all that power and money, there’s no very good reason why the average taxpayer should be paying for their contraception, pregnancies, abortions, and child care.

Obama claims that Republicans have declared a War on Women, but the real culprit seems to be the Democrat Progressives.  In the  “good ol’ days” women didn’t get the same jobs or salaries as men because they had a tendency to marry and have kids.  That was the argument Mom’s company gave her when she discovered she was making less money in the same job than a newly-hired male reporter.  She used the argument that the grocery store wasn’t going to charge her less for a loaf of bread.

Mom didn’t hire a lawyer to defend her, though; she couldn’t afford one.  She defended herself by telling the company she would take her work ethic, productivity, and talent and go work for someone else.  They raised her salary and compensated her for lost time.  That was 1945, I believe.  Five years later, she got married and quit to have babies.

We grew up poor.  However, Mom was able to save enough from my poor father’s meager, minimum wage salary as a security guard to pay off the mortgage five years early.  Once we were in school, she took a part-time job as a bus driver and worked her way up from the “women’s work” of school buses to the more manly work of driving the big diesel tour buses.

Bus driving involved tough work and long, long hours, especially the Atlantic City runs.  She had to deal with male resentment, blizzards, ice storms, mechanical breakdowns, bad neighborhoods, and quarreling senior citizens who would get into fistfights on her bus.  Through it all, she remained tough, but she also remained a lady.  Mom retired at the age of 75; she felt driving beyond that age would pose a danger to her passengers.

Most women today don’t have any choice; they must work.  Some are glad to be relieved of the burden of child-raising.  An unfortunate attitude that has resulted in the warehousing of our children.  But mothers are starting to rise up and question their priorities.

They may like the money or their household needs two incomes to survive.  But they woke up in 2009 during the Tea Parties to realize that the educational system is messing with their kids and now there’s no stopping them.  I certainly called out to the mothers during my one and only speech at the Morristown Tea Party in April 2009 and told them their children were being brainwashed.

I call out to you, Mothers and future Mothers of New Jersey and America, once again.  Tie into your networks and spread the word about this election.  This is about more than just your kids this time:  it’s about your homes, which the Progressives are seeking to either tax out of your ability to own or condemn on whatever excuse they concoct; it’s about the real price of health care you’re going to pay under Obamacare, not to mention the dangers it’s going to pose to your older parents; it’s about the government usurping the right to tell you what you can and can’t feed your children; it’s about a very likely worldwide government by 2020 (if not sooner) that will tell you where you can worship God; it’s about a government takeover of the Internet which will limit the ways in which you can receive news, what news you will receive, and how and whether you can share it with others; it’s about changing your safe neighborhoods into slums, the slums you and your parents fled so you and your kids could get to school in safety.

There’s no War on Women, but Women need to declare a War on Wonks (government bureaucrats), who will strip you of every freedom you enjoy, not grant you greater freedoms.

 

Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Romnesia Versus Obambulation

Romnesia – (n) an affliction that causes a victim to forget the truth of what an opponent has said

Obambulation – (n) a tendency to wander or stray, especially from the truth.

One of these words is a made-up word.  The other is actually in the dictionary.  Obama created the fictional disease of Romnesia, although he seems to be the chief victim.  In the last debate, Obama accused Mitt Romney of wanting to take the flailing Detroit automakers through bankruptcy.  Romney didn’t deny it.  In fact, in September 2008, Romney wrote a New York Times Op-Ed describing how he disagreed with the bailout and the managed bankruptcy he would take the company’s through, to rid them of excess debt and labor, and bring them back to financial health.

If you have “Romnesia,” fear not; the Times editorial is still available:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0

Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

Nov. 8, 2008   Mitt Romney

“IF General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.  It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

“Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself.  With it, the automakers will stay the course – the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses.  Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

“I love cars, American cars.  I was born in Detroit, the son of an auto chief executive.  In 1954, my dad, George Romney, was tapped to run American Motors when its president suddenly died.  The company itself was on life support – banks were threatening to deal it a death blow.  The stock collapsed.  I watched Dad work to turn the company around – and years later at business school, they were still talking about it.  From the lessons of that turnaround, and from my own experiences, I have several prescriptions for Detroit’s automakers.

“First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated.  That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota.  Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic markets is not higher than that of foreign producers.

“That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car.  Think what that means:  Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon.  Of course the Avalon feels like a better product – it has $2,000 more put into it.  Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars.  But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.

“Second, management as is must go.  New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries – from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.  The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end.  This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits.  But was Walter Reuther, former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a ‘dead-end street’”

“You don’t have to look far for industries with unions that went down that road.  Companies in the 21st Century cannot perpetuate the destructive labor relations of the 20th.  This will mean a new direction for the U.A.W., profit-sharing or stock grants to all employees and change in Big Three management culture.

“The need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salary and perks.  At American Motors, my dad cut his pay and that of his executive team, he bought stock in the company, and he went out to talk to workers directly.  Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms – all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.

“Investments must be made for the future.  No more focus on quarterly earnings or the kind of short-term stock appreciation that means quick riches for executives with options.  Manage with an eye on cash flow, balance sheets, and long-term appreciation.  Invest in truly competitive products and innovative technologies – especially fuel-saving designs – that may not arrive for years.  Starving research and development is like eating the seed corn.

“Just as important to the future of American carmakers is the sales force.  When sales are down, you don’t want to lose the only people who can get them to grow.  So don’t fire the best dealers, and don’t crush them with new financial or performance demands they can’t meet.

“It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition.  I believe the federal government should invest substantially more in basic research –on new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like – that will ultimately benefit the automotive industry, along with many others.  I believe Washington should raise research spending to $20 billion a year, from the $4 billion that is spent today.  The research could be done at universities, at research labs and even through public-private collaboration.  The federal government should also rectify the imbedded tax penalties that favor foreign carmakers.

“But don’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass – they bet on management and they lost.

“The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing.  A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs.  It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs.  The federal government should provide guarantee for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

“In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”

There’s the truth, in black and white.  There’s Mitt Romney telling the automakers that they’ve got to cut the excessive executive salaries, the private jets and dining rooms, as well advising that the company must cut excessive union benefits.  There’s Mitt Romney giving sound business advice and a coherent explanation of what a managed bankruptcy means:  that the company’s debts will be cancelled, or paid off by the government, so as long as the company takes measures to improve its financial standing.   The company is saved, the jobs are saved.

I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Romney about leaving the investors hanging in the wind.  It was their capital that helped the company get started.  But it seems to me if they hang in there in the long-run, they will see a return on their investments.

That’s Mitt Romney’s record, his legacy.

Meanwhile, Obama is suffering from a dreadful case of Obambulation; whenever someone challenges him, he obambulates.  He dances around the issue at hand until he can cleverly change the topic.

He’s running as fast as he can from his disastrous record as a president.  He’s got a very severe case of “the runs,” indeed.  He’s running from a $16 trillion dollar debt, a high unemployment rate, an increase in people on food stamps, one scandal involving running guns to Mexican drug cartels, and an even bigger scandal involving running guns to Syria.  He’s offended our allies around the world, gone on an “Apology Tour” in the Middle East, criticizing his own nation’s policies for promoting freedom throughout the world.  He’s provided financial aid to terrorists in Palestine.  He’s wasted billions on personal trips.  He was going to have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tried in New York City, until popular opinion made it impossible.  He’s ordered any criticism of Islam purged from military training manuals.  He’s solidly in the pockets of the very unions that helped wreck Detroit as well as the biggest bankers who have contributed to his campaigns.

He also wants to downsize the military, all the while claiming to care about our armed forces.  He criticizes our presence in Afghanistan, yet has kept us there for four years for no discernible reason other than that our military has cleared the path of Talibanists in order for China to exploit Afghanistan’s rare earth mineral deposits.  We should note that China has plenty of her own rare earth mineral deposits which she is sitting on, the way American oil companies want to sit on our own oil on federal lands.  You see, an oil company trader once told me that the last guy holding the reserves win.  Bad as it is having the Arabs hold us over the oil barrel right now, if we were to consume all our reserves now, inevitably we would be begging them for oil and much higher rates than $4 per gallon for gas.

Obama’s clean energy policies are worthless.  Here’s a list of clean energy companies that have gone bust.  Mitt Romney (who expressed support for clean energy) take note:

1. Evergreen Solar ($24 million) – bankrupt

2. SpectraWatt ($500,000) – bankrupt

3. Solyndra ($535 million) – bankrupt

4. Beacon Power ($69 million) – bankrupt

5. AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million) – faltering

6. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million) – faltering

7. SunPower ($1.5 billion) – faltering

8. First Solar ($1.46 billion) -faltering

9. Babcock and Brown ($178 million) – faltering

10. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million) – bankrupt

11. Amonix ($5.9 million) – faltering

12. National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million) – faltering

13. Fisker Automotive ($528 million) – faltering

14. Abound Solar ($374 million) – bankrupt

15. A123 Systems ($279 million) -bankrupt

16. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million) – faltering

17. Johnson Controls ($299 million) – faltering

18. Schneider Electric ($86 million) – faltering

19. Brightsource ($1.6 billion) – faltering

20. ECOtality ($126.2 million) – faltering

21. Raser Technologies ($33 million) -bankrupt

22. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million) -bankrupt

23. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million) – bankrupt

24. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million) – bankrupt

25. Range Fuels ($80 million) – bankrupt

26. Thompson River Power ($6.4 million) – bankrupt

27. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million) -bankrupt

28. LSP Energy ($2.1 billion) -bankrupt

29. UniSolar ($100 million) -bankrupt

30. Azure Dynamics ($120 million) – bankrupt

31. GreenVolts ($500,000) – faltering

32. Vestas ($50 million) – faltering

33. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million) – faltering

34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million) – bankrupt

35. Navistar ($10 million) – faltering

36. Satcon ($3 million) – bankrupt

* Figures courtesy of the Stop U.N. Agenda 21! Facebook site.

The list of Obama’s failures as president is longer than the list of failed clean energy companies.  He wants to Americans to believe that a pinwheel can get America’s economy going again.   He doesn’t believe or desire any such thing.  Anyone as beholden to the unions as Obama is determined to drive America over the cliff towards a communist “Workers’ Paradise.”

He’s depending on the black and Latino vote in the large cities, especially Los Angeles, to do that for him.  That is how he proposes to win the electoral vote.

Whether he wins the election or not, Obama and his cronies intend for America to surrender her sovereignty and be governed under the auspices of the United Nations.  When we say he’s for Big Government, he means really big, as in global government.  The Progressives have opened our borders to a flood of illegal aliens, and alienated the immigrants who are here through socialist education, pouring oil on every minority grievance and discouraging assimilation into the majority, Westernized culture.

The only thing that can save us is the truth.  That’s a real word, not a malady.  It’s a remedy to sociopathy, amnesia, and narcissism.

Published in: on October 25, 2012 at 11:26 am  Comments (4)  

Where Was the Real Romney?

Towards the end of last night’s debate, Big Brother called.  He wanted to know who these guys were that we were watching on the debate.

“It’s like watching two totally different guys from the first two debates.  What’s Romney doing?  I’m bored.  I’m thinking of switching to the football game.”

My guess was that Romney was playing to the Independent base, although Romney hit Obama with a couple of good slams, especially on the Apology Tour.  Obama retorted with a technicality, claiming he never actually said, “I’m sorry.”  You could have fooled the rest of us.  The fact-checkers have reams of paper quoting Obama as bashing America’s previous foreign policies and promising better relationships with our adversaries, which pretty much amounts to an apology.

Romney allowed so many opportunities to slip by, leaving his supporters wondering where their hero went.  Why didn’t he finish the job?  Why did he let Obama get away with so many lies and misstatements?  Why didn’t he continue with the facts about Libya?

Let’s take Obama’s declaration that we no longer need a Navy and that the Army and Marines no longer fight with bayonets as we did in 1918.  Anyone in the military will tell you that they can still affix a bayonet to their gun as a last resort when they run out of ammunition.  We still have a cavalry – the four-footed kind as well as the mechanical.  Our military is also taught hand-to-hand combat, how to throw a bunch and so forth.  Very old-fashioned and fundamental, but necessary.

As for our Navy, here are the watery facts:   95.7 percent of all of earth’s water is salt water, 3 percent fresh, 1.5 percent soil moisture.  Oceans cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface and makes up 95 percent of all space available to terrestrial life.  We found out during World I and World War II that air superiority – air being 100 percent available – was critical in war.  However, transportation of bulk materials by air is difficult, dangerous, and expensive.  For military and commercial purposes, water transportation is still the favored mode, particularly across the vast expanses of the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Free, unimpeded trade is vital to a free world and a free economy.  Therefore, a strong Navy is vital to protect the merchant marine trade.  We’d certainly like to produce more of our own goods in America, but traditional economic theory states that if we don’t want prices to spiral out of control, we must also have solid trade agreements with other countries, to sell our excess production – something we don’t have right now.

We also have enemies abroad; those who would see our status as a trading nation reduced, by force if necessary, those who would destroy capitalism, and a third that zealously seek a global caliphate.  Surface ships – battleships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and support ships – are all necessary to this effort.  And we don’t have the air support necessary anymore to protect the ships.

Obama is not worried about economics; he’s ambitious to achieve military “parity” with Russia and China, which is to say, have fewer ships, tanks and soldiers than they do.   More than that, he wishes to destroy our military superiority.  His disingenuous remarks about being concerned about America’s security are simply bilge water.

A large fleet is necessary to challenge a determined enemy.  Hundreds of merchant ships, barely armed per the Geneva Convention, were sunk in the North Atlantic during World War II.  These ships were bringing badly needed supplies to Great Britain.  Obama would have us build fewer, larger ships for the sake of economy.  But we’re not talking about double-tractor trailer trucks on Route 80, crossing the country, where the biggest dangers to the trucks are bad weather, bad auto drivers and bad roads.  One submarine hit on a cargo ship could destroy thousands of gallons of fuel or iron ore for munitions.  One hit on a large aircraft carrier could mean the loss of hundreds, if not thousands of lives.  A torpedo hit in the right section of the ship could mean she would sink almost immediately, as the USS Arizona did in Pearl Harbor.

Winston Churchill advised Great Britain to build medium-sized troop carriers, lowering the risk of a great number of personnel being lost.  Even the Germans only a built a handful of large battleships.  Another “relic” of the past, the submarine – the first submarine served in the Civil War – is still a weapon and a menace of the seas.  Yes, technology plays a greater role in tracking them, but you still need the hardware to sink one, a combination of radar, sonar, destroyers, our own submarines, and aircraft.

We also need good intelligence.  For years, the Liberals excoriated the Central Intelligence Agency.  Now that they’re in charge, they’re finding this agency quite useful in carrying out their plans.  The Progressives, who once wanted to impeach Ronald Reagan for trading arms for our hostages in Iran, merrily supply Islamist and even Al-Qaeda extremists with the weapons they need to achieve their ends, under the guise of freedom and democracy.  There’s been an endless line of them parading in and out of Obama’s White House.

Why didn’t Romney point out all this to Obama during the debate?  Possibly because the Liberals have an army of Media cheerleaders who will back Obama up, verifying his false information, his lies, and cover-ups.  Maybe he figured there was no point in making accusations because Obama would simply deny them.  Romney did not allow Obama’s attacks on himself to go unchallenged.  He would have defended his record further, but moderator Bob Schieffer would not permit him to do so.  No surprise there.

“I want peace,” Romney said.  What he didn’t mention was that our enemies do not want peace.  When questioned about Iran, he said he agreed with Obama’s strategy, a remark that left Romney supporters perplexed and unsatisfied.  Let Iran make the first move.  Let them lie, and then attack Israel, and if Obama is president, we will see if he keeps his promise to stand by Israel, or whether he crosses the border from Jordan into Israel, with King Abdullah in the lead and our army behind, to negotiate what will be essentially a surrender by Israel.

Let them lie, and then attack Israel, and if Romney is president, he will keep his word and protect Israel, our long-time ally.  It could mean war.  It must come soon before they complete their ability to launch an attack, which is very near.  Once Iran has that ability, talking and sanctions will be useless.

Let us take the positive view, and assume that Romney was playing to the Independents and that they’re convinced Romney is the right leader for our nation, no matter how disappointing last night’s performance was to us.  Look, it wasn’t all that bad.  Romney delivered a few satisfying punches to Obama that left the president scowling and confused.

When Romney agreed with Obama on his approach to Afghanistan (according to Glenn Beck, two-thirds of the losses in Afghanistan have occurred under Obama’s administration), Obama replied, puffing up his chest, “Well, I’m glad you agree with me, Mr. Romney.”

That wasn’t for you, Obama, you silly doofus;  that was to satisfy the Independents.  We’re in Afghanistan to clear the area of Taliban fighters so China can mine the Afghan mountains for rare earth minerals.  China, the same country reports indicate you’ve been accepting foreign donations from.  The same country whose leader you hosted.  The same country you have investments in, as well as the Cayman Islands.  China, where you are held in great esteem.  They sell tee-shirts of you over there, with your face under a Mao Cap, with the words – in Chinese – “Mao-bama.”  I have one.  Are you getting royalties on the sale of your face on those tee shirts, and are they going towards financing your campaign?

Your record on everything from clean energy to the economy to foreign policy to Obamacare is a disaster.  If voters make the right choice, you will find yourself bowing to a future President Romney in January 2013.

 

 

Published in: on October 23, 2012 at 11:56 am  Comments (1)  

The Land of Many Little Towns: West Milford, the Story of a Suburb, Ch. 9

Modern-day urban planners decry the fact that New Jersey has 566 municipalities, all doing things their own way.  They blame this architecture for the fact that New Jerseyans pay high property taxes.  Of course, they don’t mention how much of those taxpayers go to support the state’s blighted cities, who complain of having practically no tax base.  Obama leads the charge in accusing whites of “racism” in their flight from the cities.  He has backed the creation of a non-profit group called “Building One America” to combat this problem.

Building One America is the community organizing arm of the redevelopment effort.  Stanley Kurtz, in his book, “Spreading the Wealth:  How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities,: notes:  “The New Jersey Regional Coalition, a Gamaliel affiliate and now the core component of Building One America, pushed for regional tax base sharing in the New Jersey legislature in 2006” six years ago.  So there’s a community organizing arm and there’s a political arm.

Unlike New York State, New Jersey can’t simply legislate its 566 communities out of existence with a wave of its magic gavel.  The state must persuade those 566 communities to voluntarily surrender their autonomy.  It’s called “home rule.”  The plan is called The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan.  David Rusk himself, author of “Cities Without Suburbs” has personally met with towns up and down the state trying to convince ecology-minded citizens to sign on.

In 1898, New Jerseyans looked on in horror as the New York State legislature abolished all the municipalities of New York and Richmond counties, the western portion of Queens County (ultimately abolishing it entirely), and the city of Brooklyn, and consolidated into one city of New York.  You can find the remnants of these towns and villages on current maps, listing them now as “neighborhoods” – Astoria, Richmond Hill, Jackson Heights, Auburndale, Hillcrest, Forest Hills, Arlington, Bedford Park, Bushwick, Canarsie (the name of the Indian tribe that sold Manhattan to Peter Minuit), Morris Park, Rosedale, Schuylerville.  It’s a long list.

For all the consolidation, New York City still has financial problems and wealthier, Conservative residents are fleeing its tax rate, just about the highest in the nation, save for New Jersey itself.

West Milford became a municipality by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 10, 1834, when it was formed from the westernmost portions of both Franklin Township and Saddle River Township, while the area was still part of Bergen County. On Feb. 7, 1837, Passaic County was created from portions of both Bergen County and Essex County, with West Milford as the western end of the newly formed county.

The town was actually called “New Milford.”  The same Dutch settlers and former Puritans from Newark also built a town of New Milford in eastern Bergen County. After both New Milfords applied for post offices in 1828, a clerk in Washington, D.C. is said to have approved the Bergen County application first and assigned the name “West Milford” to the New Milford in then-western Bergen County in order to distinguish between the two locations.

Many old name towns were absorbed into the 80 square mile township including Postville, Utterville, Corterville, Browns, Awosting, Echo Lake, Macopin, Charlotteburg, Clinton, Moe, Upper Greenwood Lake, Oak Ridge aka Oak Hill, Newfoundland, Apshawa, New City, and Smith Mills, Germantown and Hewitt.  Borderline towns were split between West Milford and neighboring Rockaway and Jefferson Townships.  Some towns made up Ringwood Township, including Boardville, Monksville, Stonetown aka Mosstown, Midvale, Haskell, and Wanaque.  After New  York’s consolidation, towns began to look into incorporation as a means of protecting their autonomy, an act that the New Jersey legislature approved, but which regional advocates derided as “boroughitis.

New Jersey Transit’s bus route No. 196’s sign does not list as its destination “West Milford”; it lists “Newfoundland.”  If you ask a West Milford resident where they live, unless they live in or near the actual West Milford town center, they’re as likely to tell you they live in Macopin, Newfoundland, or Apshawa, as to say they live in West Milford Township; for them, that’s an afterthought.

Still, as large as the township is (the tenth largest in New Jersey), its population of over 25,000 still manages to stick together on certain issues.  When Gov. Christie came to the town this week, 700 residents squeezed into the West Milford PAL Center a piece of their minds.

The subject was the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act .  The meeting was so crowded, I wasn’t allowed near the site, even though I’d reserved a seat and friends were holding my place for me.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, “Judy Ziegler, a 69-year-old restaurant owner in the Passaic County town, said she was frustrated over her property tax bill and the fact that the 2004 law was limiting development.

She said the money was going toward subsidizing water for some of the state’s urban residents who could afford to pay an extra dollar or two if they “can sit out on their stoops in the summertime, smoking pot, drinking booze, collecting food stamps.”

“The [politically-incorrect] comment drew loud applause from the town hall crowd, but Christie quickly cut in and criticized it.

“It is unfair, with all due respect, to characterize every person who lives in Newark, which you just did, as sitting on their stoop smoking pot, drinking booze and collecting food stamps.” Christie said.

He then told the largely friendly group he understood Ziegler’s complaint: “I hear them and we’re going to try to help you fix them. But we are not going to fix them by scapegoating, because when we do … we lessen each other.”

“After the event, Ziegler said she didn’t mean to denigrate all Newark residents.

“I wasn’t allowed to finish because he was offended right away and I apologize, because I wasn’t referring to everyone in Newark,” she said.  Once again, the inconvenient truth got steamrollered and the resident had to apologize for it.

Ziegler said one of her customers, a Democrat, told her Newark residents could not afford the extra charge because they are “downtrodden” and that she didn’t realize “how hard they have it.”

Still, Ziegler held her ground as best she could.

“Yes I  know a lot of them do have it hard,” she said. “But we have it hard in West Milford, too. We’re hard-working citizens. A lot of those people are hard-working, but they’re also getting paychecks. So paychecks, welfare, whatever they’re getting to sustain themselves. Whatever they have, that dollar or two a month is worth getting that water you’re getting from us, and why should our taxes go up $16,000, $18,000?”

“Christie is well-known,” the Star-Ledger cheered, “for his harsh rhetoric aimed at those with whom he disagrees. But Patrick Murray, a pollster at Monmouth University, said his words today were not out of character, noting that in the past he had spoken out against conservative pundits who criticized his appointment of a Muslim judge.

“Christie understands that the politics of division don’t help New Jersey Republicans,” Murray said, “the politics of division in terms of race, class, those types of things.”

“What was clear was the level of dissatisfaction among suburban and rural residents in this northern part of the state, where towns have had to limit development because of the Highlands Act.   The law was intended to preserve the primary supply of fresh water for more than 5 million New Jersey residents.

“Ziegler’s comment came after Christie said the state was selling property owners short by not living up to its promise to compensate them for land lost as a result of the law.  He said there was no chance of getting the law repealed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature, whose members ‘in the main took property from Republican areas to benefit Democratic areas.’

“’That’s why they have a new focus on trying to ease some of the restrictions where appropriate and also giving recommendations to me for a new funding recommendation on being able to compensate people in a way that Gov. McGreevey promised,’ he said.

“Environmental groups have criticized Christie for appointing political allies to the Highlands Commission who they say have little experience in the environment and are trying to dismantle the law from the inside.

“What Governor Christie is doing is trying to repeal the Highlands Act through his appointments and he is siding with land speculators and developers,” Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said.

Proponents of regionalization call such opposition “borough fever” or “boroughitis.”

Boroughitis was a political phenomenon that spread throughout in the late 19th century, which led groups of residents to unite to form boroughs from within and among the many townships that were the prevalent form of local government at the time. The basis of the phenomenon were major changes to the borough form of local government in the state that allowed boroughs to easily obtain independence without approval from the New Jersey Legislature and provided boroughs formed from more than one township to be entitled to a seat on the county’s Board of Chosen Freeholders.

In 1894, the state permitted boroughs to be formed by petition, without requiring a special act of the legislature, as had been required before and since. This process was widely used, particularly in Bergen County, “that being the year the county went crazy on boroughs,” according to the book, “A History of Bergen County.”  Today, 56 of the 70 municipalities in Bergen County are boroughs.

Communities often were motivated by financial issues; Chatham broke loose of a township it had joined in 1806, over the financing of gas lighting in the town. The town wanted gas lighting, but the township government refused to finance it.  First the community reorganized as a village (as it had been founded in 1710 under colonial English provincial rule), but, when the borough form was introduced through legislation, the citizens of Chatham immediately voted to adopt that new form of government.

This wave of municipal reformations was fomented by legislation that allowed a borough to be created by a referendum with no further legislative approval required. In 1875, only 17 boroughs had been created, and half of those had been dissolved or elevated to cities, but the prevalence of boroughs exploded, so that they are now the most common type of municipal government in New Jersey, accounting for over 200 of the 566 current municipal governments statewide.  Notice here that the accusation of over 566 borough municipalities is inaccurate.

Early in 1894, the N.J. Legislature passed a school act which had each township constitute a separate school district.  Taxpayers were required to pay off any existing debts of the old districts and all future school-related debts of the new districts.  Exempted from this provision were “boroughs, towns, villages, and cities.”  An amendment to the Borough Act, passed on May 9, 1894, allowed for the creation of a borough from parts of two or more townships, and allowed these boroughs created from multiple municipalities to have their own representative on the County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Newspapers of the time, liberal criticized the will of the voters.  On June 14, 1894, The Hackensack Republican noted that “borough mania continues to spread in Bergen County and the possibilities are that it will not be checked in some time.”

The citizens responded to the legislation in 1894, and the shift to boroughs was in full force, as scores of new boroughs were carved from townships. The borough-formation pace slowed down when new legislation was passed mandating that boroughs could have their own school districts only if they had 400 children within their boundaries.

The formation of new boroughs continued after 1894. The borough remained the most popular form of government for new municipalities, and most governments formed into the early 20th century used the borough form.  Pompton Lakes took immediate advantage of the new law and incorporated in 1894.

Legislation was drafted to effectively repeal the Borough Acts of 1882, 1890, 1891 and all of their supplements. Under the Incorporation by State Act of March 26, 1896, “No borough or village shall hereafter be incorporated in this state except by special act of the legislature, and every borough or village so incorporated shall be governed by the general laws of this state relating to boroughs or villages respectively.” With the formation of new municipalities now firmly returned to the hands of the N.J. Legislature, the wave of changes met its end, by the beginning of the Great Depression.

But boroughs were formed all the same.  Bloomingdale, just south of West Milford, was incorporated in 1918, along with Wanaque and Ringwood when was Pompton Township was broken up.   The borough of Butler was incorporated earlier, in 1901.  The anti-boroughists prided themselves on putting a stop to all this “boro”-ing.  The love of freedom, however, and independence is hard to quell once it rises into a flood.

Groundbreaking on the George Washington Bridge began in October 1927 and the bridge was dedicated on Oct. 24, 1931.  Despite the best efforts of progressive planners, thanks to this link between New York and New Jersey, the suburbanites were coming.

But so was a great flood of water.

 

Published in: on October 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm  Comments (3)  

The Last Word

Tonight is the last debate of the 2012 Presidential election.  The subject is foreign policy.  The venue is Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Fla.  The moderator will be Bop Schieffer from CBS News.

Who wins this debate tonight will depend upon not just your point of view, but your world-view.

If you believe in a one-world government, that America owes a big apology to her enemies, that she should take her friends off the official Christmas card list; that America should redistribute her wealth to third-world nations, that America is no better than any other country, that we should follow the example of Denmark, Germany and Spain in wind turbine production (thus crippling our economy even further); that we should simply open our own borders to the world, and make ourselves vassals of the United Nations, then Barack Hussein Obama is your dictator.

On the other hand, if you don’t care for the notion of transforming the United States of America into a Socialist state; if you think we’re already pouring billions of dollars into foreign aid to nations that despise freedom, and even more money into arming them, if you’re fed up with the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China; if you don’t believe for one minute that Iran is going to do anything more than sit down and talk with the current administration, that they’re more likely to fall down on the floor and laugh at the notion of giving up their nuclear power; if you think we’re on the wrong side in the Arab “Spring;” if you don’t believe in peace through weakness, and you want to keep American secure and strong militarily and financially; if you want your jobs to come back from overseas, that you know it’s government policies, taxes, and regulations that sent them there in the first place; if you want someone who knows his business, knows his Constitution, and grew up with American values, then hire Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney had Obama on the ropes in both debates, more so in the first than the second.  He left an opening with the alleged “gaffe” about Libya, but deserves points for raising the issue.  Obama is not going to be able to hide behind the presidential seal or the Media in light of the truth.  When you have the Washington Post telling you that there were protestors over the video in Benghazi, but that they hadn’t the means for such a sophisticated attack, you just can’t have it both ways:  you can’t say that the protestors were there and that it was about the video, but then claim the Benghazi citizens had nothing to do with the killings, that all they were armed with was signs, that they “loved” U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and that the assassins were Al Qaeda insurgents hidden amongst the protestors (who jeered and howled as Stevens’ body was dragged through the streets).

Obama has plenty of strikes against him, starting with questions about the funding of his own website and the foreign donations that are coming through it.  There’s our enormous financial debt to China.  There are rumors that we’re supplying arms to Syria, effectively arming the so-called “rebels” for a theocratic Islamic coup in the Middle East.  There’s his insult to the families of the dead Ambassador and the others who were assassinated, deeming a response to the attack as “not optimal.”  There is his insult to Great Britain, our greatest Western ally, and to Israel, the only true Democracy in the Middle East (except for Iraq, which is still struggling).  There are the massacres in Darfur, and of the Coptic Christians throughout the Middle East (in whose memory the controversial video was made).  There’s the downsizing of our military, a decidedly important foreign policy issue.

Obama has made the United States vulnerable militarily, financially, and socially, bowing to every potentate in the world.  Now he will claim, as his October surprise, that he’s brought Iran “to the table.”  He was also caught off-mic and off-video in March at a global nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea, making promises to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he’ll have “more flexibility” on the issue of missile defense after the election.  Medvedev promised to “transmit” that message to Vladimir Putin.

Obama will accuse Romney of making more enemies for the United States with his policies.  He will play to his base, following the “Ugly American” narrative of having to appease enemies we ourselves have made.  The “Ugly Americans” don’t see it that way, for the most part.  Except for the young, who naturally consider themselves “beautiful,” most Americans remember 9/11/01.  They remember videos of Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, screaming that “America’s chickens have come home to roost!” and ‘I don’t say ‘God Bless America; I say “God-d*%# America!”

There’s good reason for Obama to be a globalist.  He was raised in Hawaii, not the mainland, the son of a Kenyan anti-imperialist and a Bohemian, atheist mother who took him to live in Indonesia.  His first book, “Dreams from My Father” makes a great travelogue but a troubling manifesto for a future president of the United States, openly declaring his hostility towards white people, especially suburbanites, the middle class, and the free markets.  In his 2008, he declared himself a “citizen of the world.”

Mitt Romney is a citizen of the United States.  That’s no covert slam against Obama and the birth certificate controversy.  Although, while the birth certificate may say Hawaii, there are suggestions that his citizenship was changed in Indonesia and never changed back so he could attend college as a foreign exchange student, with a better chance of being admitted with low grades.

The world is on fire and Barrack Hussein Obama is holding the match.  Mitt Romney is holding the fire extinguisher.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 22, 2012 at 11:42 am  Comments (1)  

“Something Fishy”

Long accustomed to helping my former company to distribute its literature at public fairs (when I was through taking pictures of employees, agents and their team members), I’ve learned to be diplomatic about approaching the public with something they possibly don’t want.

I volunteered to help the local Tea Party distribute flyers for the Republican freeholders.  Most people aren’t even sure what a “freeholder” is – it’s your county representative.  Just as we have municipal, state and federal representatives, we also elect county representatives.

Few people (except Tea Partiers) wear their party affiliation – if they even have one – on their sleeves, or in this case, belt.  Not knowing which side of the fence potential voters were on, I would just tell them I was out remind them to remember to vote.  Some refused the literature, many accepted.

My last two customers were at the bus stop, heading northwards after an afternoon of shopping in town.  They both refused at first.  The woman on the right declared that she wasn’t voting for anyone.  “They’ll all politicians.  I don’t like that Romney.  But I like Obama,” she said with a smile.

Now, being a Tea Partier, I wasn’t very inclined to urge her to vote, but I did note, “So you are voting for one of them.”

“No!” she declared.  “I said I liked Obama but I’m not voting for him.”

Here was a dilemma:  I didn’t want to encourage her to change her mind but I couldn’t help wondering why wasn’t going to vote for him?

“Well,” I said, “if you like him, why don’t you vote for him?”

She frowned.  “I don’t know.  But there’s just something fishy.”

Her companion then asked me for one of the flyers, which I gave to her and walked away, lest the other woman change her mind and decide to vote for Obama.  Another woman at a local convenience store said the same thing.

“I’m not voting!” she cried, fleeing for the store.  “I’m not voting for anyone!”

One must be polite in all circumstances.  Even if you don’t want to encourage people to vote for the other, you must justify your presence out on the street, and my introduction was always to remind people to vote on Nov. 6 – hopefully in favor of the people whose flyer I was passing out.  But if not – I didn’t molest the people.  One young lady clearly wasn’t interested in the flyer and I diplomatically backed away and simply reminded her to vote.  Where she had been cautious, now she smiled timidly.  If nothing else, I hope I gave her a better, if humorous, impression of the Tea Party.

At the moment, things seem to be going poorly for Obama.  He and Romney are neck-and-neck in the polls.  Obama is running against a crippled, old man this time; he’s running against a tall, handsome, successful man with a great sense of humor and the right credentials for office.

Obama’s latest gaffe was in the Comedy Central interview that a military response (or any other kind of response) to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and the murder of the U.S. Ambassador and four other was “not optimal.”

To be just, Jon Stewart led him into, but it seemed as though Obama knew it was a leading question because he took up the word immediately.

In regard to the administration performance in the aftermath of the incident, Stewart remarked, “I would say, and even you would admit, it was not the optimal response – at least to the American people as far as all of us being on the same page.”

To which Obama replied, “Here is what I will say:  if four Americans get killed, it is not optimal.  And we are going to fix it, all of it.  And what happens during the course of a presidency, you know, the government is a big operation at any given time, something screws up, and you make sure you find out what’s broken and you fix it.”

“And, you know, whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency, one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is America’s security comes first and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, national security, and protecting Americans.  And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.”

Yes, we know exactly how he makes his decisions and how he implements them – he apologizes.  He bows.  He cuts down on our military forces to unprecedented level, making it almost impossible for us to defend ourselves.  He places so much debt upon the American people that all the millionaires from Main Line Philadelphia to Boston couldn’t pay it off.  That means very little money for defense.

Stewart also noted that “the perception that State was on a different page than” Obama, and how Susan Rice (one of Obama’s very good friends – she proofread his second book, “The Audacity of Hope”), our U.N. ambassador mistakenly tied the attacks to protests over an anti-Islam video five days after the protest took place, the president insisted that they’re “going to do an investigation and figure out what happened.”

After the election.  Meanwhile, reports are mounting that the ambassador to Libya was very definitely tied to some sort of arms trade with the rebels.  Obama had to admit, also, that there were still Al Qaeda operatives in the Middle East.  Today, the CIA is backing up Susan Rice’s claim that the video did influence the attack on the consulate.  Even if that happens to be true, Christopher Stevens wasn’t killed at the consulate – he was killed at a supposed “safe-house.”

Nor is Benghazi the capitol of Libya; Tripoli is.  Why protest at a minor consulate rather than at the main embassy in Tripoli?  How did the protestors know the ambassador was there?  Why was he there?   Why should we believe reports a month later, rather than the initial reports?  The documents are referred to as “talking points.”  Talking points?

According to David Ignatius of the Washington Post:

“’We believe the timing of the attack was influenced by events in Cairo,” the senior official said, reaffirming the Cairo-Benghazi link. He said that judgment is repeated in a new report prepared this week for the House intelligence committee.

“Here’s how the senior official described the jumble of events in Benghazi that day: ‘The attackers were disorganized; some seemed more interested in looting. Some who claimed to have participated joined the attack as it began or after it was under way. There is no evidence of rehearsals, they never got into the safe room . . . never took any hostages, didn’t bring explosives to blow the safe room door, and didn’t use a car bomb to blow the gates.’

“The Benghazi flap is the sort of situation that intelligence officers dread: when politicians are demanding hard ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers but evidence is fragmentary.”  So there you have it:  a senior official says that, while the protestors in Benghazi were watching the events in Cairo, they weren’t particularly prepared for anything more than a protest.

Yet the attack was extremely well-planned, some did discover the location of the safe house, someone did bring explosives, as well as guns, and some did blow up a car.  This Media is the successor to the generation of reporters that lied to America, telling us that the Kent State protestors were innocent and the victims of murder, when actually they were drunken Liberal students, stirred up initially because the mayor of the town had shut down the locals bars when the students started burning cars in the streets, and the next morning, listened to a group of agitators work them up into a lather over the Viet Nam War.  Someone besides the National Guard brought a gun to that fight, too.

It also sounds like someone is abusing his presidential office and authority, and forcing a rewrite of the script to fit his narrative and cover his assets.  Documents can be falsified and wrapped up in newspaper.

But if there’s a dead fish inside, the story will still smell fishy.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Enough to Make You Sick

Enough to Make You Sick

Imagine if you could only find out how well a used car drove until after you purchased it?  At the time the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care bill, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told the American public that they would not be able to find out what was in the bill until it was passed.

What we’ve found out is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care bill includes a 0.9 percent tax and a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income on household incomes of $200,000 or more ($125,000 per individual income).  Obamacare, as it is commonly known, imposes a $2,000 per employee penalty on employers with more than 50 employees who do not offer health insurance to their full-time workers (as amended by the reconciliation bill).

Most median household incomes in this area fall below that mark.  You might think not only that you’re safe from such taxes but that you’re getting something for nothing.  For the businesses on Main Street U.S.A. and the small industries located along these thoroughfares, the news is not so good.

The Senate Republican minority opposed passage of the bill.  However, thanks to “compromises” by Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, commonly referred to as the “Cornhusker Kickback” in exchange for a higher rate of Medicaid reimbursement for Nebraska, the bill passed.  Away from the televised meetings, the legislation became a “bonanza” for lobbyists (just as the Clean Energy proposals have benefitted Big Green business), including secret deals that were initially denied but subsequently confirmed. The Sunlight Foundation documented many of the reported ties between “the healthcare lobbyist complex” an politicians in both major parties.

Obamacare ensures a government-takeover of 6 percent of the U.S. economy.  We know what poor businessmen government bureaucrats are – we have a $16 trillion debt to prove it.  Nor can we rely on the benighted millionaires.  Even if we took away 100 percent of their money, their taxes would hardly put a dent in that debt.  The greatest amount of the debt is not due to military spending but entitlement programs.  As millionaires run out of money, the IRS will come after the Middle Class, where the greatest percentage of taxable money is located.  The millionaire may have more money but collectively, the greater share of wealth is found in our suburbs.

Aside from the excessive costs of Obamacare, the greatest danger of government health care is the (IPAB) Independent Payment Advisory Board.  It’s the part of Obamacare that cannot be repealed.  There are no doctors on this 15-member advisory board  nor insurance executives.  Commonly referred to as the “Death Panels,” they cannot invoke rationing, but the law gives them plenty of opportunity to do so anyway, by cutting payments to hospitals and doctors and denying treatment to patients over a certain age because treatment becomes unfeasible financially.

Only a short window exists, for six months after the 2016 election, and then Congress will not be able to repeal the law.  This is unconstitutional.  It’s not certain the board will be repealed even then.  Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney passed such a bill for his state, which is overwhelmingly Democrat.  He claims it works – for his state, whose budget he balanced, but not for the country, whose debt will enslave taxpayers for generations and reduce the quality of health care.  Doctors are already quitting their practices, especially the older, more experienced doctors.  Younger doctors will “specialize” and become employees of hospitals, which will be nothing more than health care mills.  Insurance industry bureaucrats, under federal regulations, already have the right to examine your personal health charts in your doctor’s office.  With electronic medical reports, your information will be easily accessible by anyone.

Obamacare will benefit many  – illegal aliens, people on welfare, big pharmaceutical companies  as well as public hospitals and of course, health care unions.  You will not benefit.  You will not have a private doctor.  Your medical relationship will be with a government bureaucrat.  The government will make your health care decisions for you – what procedures you may or may not receive.  If you refuse a treatment, your doctor can be penalized, even jailed for malpractice.  The government may refuse you a treatment.  You can try paying for it yourself, but  you could lose your home and savings.  That’s what insurance was supposed to be for.  Policies became expensive when people began abusing them, asking the insurance company to reimburse expenses people could have easily paid for themselves.  The item you think is “free” will show up on your co-pay.

Obamacare is part of an overall plan to “socialize” our nation.  Freedom will be exchanged for free stuff and free votes.  Like the consumers who find their free medical products on their co-pay, you will find the “security” and “risk reductions” on future tax bills.  And when you see the cost, you won’t feel as good as you thought you would.

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Foundry Fathers – West Milford, the Story of a Suburb, Ch. 8

When you think of mining, you think of places like Colorado, the Rocky Mountains, or California’s Gold Rush Country, or Alaska, or the coal mines of West Virginia or Western Pennsylvania.  San Francisco was once a mining town.  The last place you think of when you think of mining is New Jersey.  But, in fact, the Garden State had nearly 600 mines.  The only other places would you never think of as mining country are Massachusetts and Maine.

In fact, a 25-mile wide swath of iron ore stretches from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania.  In the Colonial era, mining (and lumberjacking) were the chief industries in the northern Highlands of New Jersey.

Morris County had the greatest number of mines (in fact, the name of the town of Succasunna, in western Morris County means “place of the black stones” – how about that, J.D.?), but Passaic, Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon Counties were all involved in mining.  The arm of the Wisconsin Glacier retreated about 10,000 years ago from this region after carving out river valleys, leaving hilly granite Gneiss stubs with rich veins of magnetite iron ore. The hard iron deposits here once lay upon the land and bizarre formations jutted up into the sky in sculptural continuations of the veins that descend down into the earth for thousands of feet.

The mines in Morris County played a major role in supplying iron for the French & Indian Wars and later for the American Revolution and the Civil War.  But the mines in Ringwood, West Milford, Pompton and Bloomingdale played their share.  The great link across the Hudson River during the Revolution was forged at Ringwood Manor.  The iron mines and iron works would help build chains for canal barges, railroad trains and tracks, and numerous tools.

The Foundry Fathers had mining operations all through northwest New Jersey.  But the iron magnates made their homes in Ringwood, West Milford’s next door neighbor.  What’s more, many of the magnates were descendants of Milfordites.

Many of these men were wealthy and educated.  They went on to become great heroes and statesmen, in addition to producing the munitions that would help defeat the British.  Not bad for a bunch of “evil Capitalists.”

Lord Stirling

William Alexander (aka Lord Stirling) was born in New York City in 1726.  He was an educated, ambitious and bright young man and proficient in mathematics and astronomy. He joined his mother in a successful provisioning business and, in 1747, married Sarah Livingston, the sister of Governor William Livingston.

During the French and Indian War, he joined the British Army, where he became aide-de-camp to Governor William Shirley. He traveled to London in 1756 to testify on behalf of Shirley, who was facing charges of dereliction of duty. While there, he claimed the vacant title of Earl of Stirling, in the Peerage of Scotland, as senior male descendant of the first earl’s grandfather, and was permitted to vote in an election of the Scottish representative peers. The British House of Lords refused to recognize his claim without proof of descent, but he continued to style himself Earl of Stirling, or Lord Stirling, all his life. The right to the earldom would have implied his right to a land grant that consisted of much of the New England coast, parts of Nova Scotia and the entire St. Lawrence River valley, given to the male heirs of the first earl; his grandson, William Alexander Duer, wrote that this was his chief reason for pursuing it. He took the nephews of the fifth, and last, Earl (Henry Alexander, 5th Earl of Stirling) into partnership on the land claim.

Satisfied by the partial acceptance of his claim, he returned to America in 1761, now using the title Lord Stirling. Stirling was appointed Surveyor-General of the Province of New Jersey and was also a member of the Provincial Council. He was one of the founders of King’s College (predecessor of Columbia University) and became its first governor.

Stirling was a socially prominent and wealthy man, having inherited a large fortune from his father. He dabbled in mining and agriculture and lived a life filled with the trappings befitting a Scottish Lord. This was an expensive lifestyle and he eventually went into debt to finance it. He began building his grand estate in Basking Ridge, N.J., and upon its completion, sold his home in New York and moved there.  George Washington was a guest there on several occasions during the Revolution and gave away Stirling’s daughter at her wedding.

When the Revolutionary War began, Stirling was made a colonel in the New Jersey militia. He outfitted the militia at his own expense and was always willing to spend his own money in support of the cause. He distinguished himself early by leading a group of volunteers in the capture of an armed British transport.

Congress appointed him brigadier general in the Continental Army in March 1776. At the Battle of Long Island, in August of that year, Stirling led the 1st Maryland Regiment in repeated attacks against a superior British force at the Old Stone House near what is today named the Gowanus Canal and took heavy casualties. Outnumbered 25 to 1, his brigade was eventually overwhelmed and Stirling was taken prisoner, but not before repelling the British forces long enough to allow the main body of troops to escape to defensive positions at Brooklyn Heights. Because of his actions at Long Island, one newspaper called him “the bravest man in America” and he was praised by both Washington and the British for his bravery and audacity.

He was released in a prisoner exchange (in return for governor Montfort Browne), promoted to major general and became one of Washington’s most able and trusted generals. Washington held him in such high regard that he placed Stirling in command of the entire Continental Army for nearly two months while he was away on personal business and throughout most of the war Stirling was considered to be 3rd or 4th in rank behind Washington. Though he cast his lot with the Patriot cause during the American Revolution, officers (including Washington) and men alike often referred to him as Lord Stirling. At Trenton, he received the surrender of a Hessian regiment. On June 26, 1777, at Matouchin (now called Metuchen), he awaited an attack, contrary to Washington’s orders. His position was turned and his division defeated, losing two guns and 150 men in the Battle of Short Hills. Subsequent battles at Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth cemented his reputation for bravery and sound tactical judgment. At the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, he acted with bravery and discretion. At the Battle of Monmouth, he displayed tactical judgment in posting his batteries and repelled with heavy loss an attempt to turn his flank. In January 1780, he led an ineffective raid against Staten Island.  Lord Stirling also played a part in exposing the Conway Cabal, a conspiracy of disaffected officers looking to remove Washington as Commander-in Chief and replace him with General Horatio Gates.

When Washington took his army south in 1781, he appointed Stirling commander of the northern army and he was sent to Albany.  Stirling, always a heavy drinker, was in poor health by this time, suffering from severe gout and rheumatism.  He died in Albany on Jan. 15, 1783, at about the age of 56.  His untimely death just months before the official end of the war is the probable reason that he is not as well known today as many of the other generals. Still, his significant contributions made him one of the most important figures of the American Revolution.  He was buried at Trinity Churchyard in New York City.

Sterling was also a speculator and owned mining sites all over the northern Highlands and Lower Hudson Valley.  He owned the Sterling Mine in what is now known as Ogdensburg.  Mining began at the site in 1730 when speculators mistakenly thought it held copper, as Arent Schuyler’s mine did in Belleville (then called Arlington).  King George II granted the property to Lord Stirling, who sold it to Robert Ogden, a direct descendant of the same Josiah Ogden who in 1719 renounced Puritanism, in 1765. It went through several owners until the various mines were combined into the New Jersey Zinc Company in 1897. The mine closed in 1986 due to a tax dispute with the town, which foreclosed for back taxes in in 1988.  It now serves as a mining museum.

In 1739, Lord Stirling engaged Cornelius Board, a Welsh miner, to come to America to search for copper mines. Arent Schuyler was, at that time, profitably mining copper ores at Belleville, N. J.  Board failed to find any additional copper mines and settled at Little Falls, where he built a grist mill. At that time, the country had been somewhat settled by farmers, mostly of Dutch ancestry, and their farms stretched from Newark to Pompton. The hilly, forest country beyond Pompton was then all a wilderness, with no white inhabitants. Indians told Board of the existence of outcrops of iron ore in the hills and showed him the country.  He found many large and rich ore outcrops extending over a wide range of country.

Cornelius Board

Cornelius Board secured fifty acres of land at the outlet of Stirling Lake from the East Jersey Proprietors, as this region was at that time considered part of New Jersey. This title was verified by an Act passed in 1772 to confirm the titles to settlers along the New Jersey boundary just established by the Royal Commission.

In a lawsuit to settle the rival claims of the Wawayanda and Cheesecook Patents, which was tried at Goshen, N.Y., where both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr appeared from Wawayanda, James Board, the son of Cornelius Board, testified that his father had built a bloomery and forge at Stirling Lake in 1736, which he later sold to his partner, Ward (another post-Milfordite), and removed to Ringwood in 1740. This seems to establish the date of the beginning of the Ringwood Iron Works definitely as 1740.

Cornelius Board took up the land of the Ringwood valley, and also along the Long Pond River, later building his own house at Boardville, where the Long Pond River and the Ringwood River join. He built an iron forge at Ringwood in 1740. This was located below the dam of the mill pond beyond the gate entering the Manor House grounds.  Even today, iron cinders and slag can be found in the ground below the dam.

Ten mines were located on the Ringwood property:  Hope, Peter’s, Cooper, Keeler, St. George, Bush, Cannon, Blue, Hard, and Mule.  In addition, there was the Ward (again, another post-Milfordite) Mine, just north of the Long Pond Iron Works. In Bloomingdale, there was the Wynokie Mine and in Wanaque, the Kanouse Mine, mines which probably fed the Pompton and Smith Mills furnaces.

The Ogdens

The Ogden family of Newark – Colonel Josiah Ogden (ca. 1679-1763); David Ogden, Sr. (1707-1798); David Ogden, Jr. (1726-1801); and John Ogden, Jr. (1709-1795)- bought the 16-acre tract, including the forge, from Cornelius Board on April 15, 1740, and built an iron blast furnace at Ringwood, which was located where the bank above the old dairy is cut by the present waterfall. The Ogdens called this enterprise “The Ringwood Company.” 

The Ogdens, in partnership with Samuel and Nicholas Gouveneur, formed The Ringwood Company and built a furnace in 1742. The company produced ammunition for the Seven Years War and the French and Indian War and produced finished goods such as plowshares and cannonballs as well as iron bars. The Ogdens ran the company from offices in Newark and New York City until they sold it to the American Iron Company in 1764.

Mining required a large outlay of capital to operate in such a remote district. They finally offered the business for sale by public advertisement in 1762.

Peter Hasenclever

In April 1764, German Peter Hasenclever and his partners, Seton & Croft, purchased the Ringwood Ironworks for about 5,000 pounds, renaming it The American Company.   Hasenclever subsequently also bought the Charlotteburg (named for Queen Anne) furnaces.  By 1765, Peter Hasenclever made Ringwood the center of his iron-making empire which included 150,000 acres in New Jersey, New York and Nova Scotia.

Hasenclever is not remembered for the length of his tenure at the Forges & Manor of Ringwood (about two years) but because he built prodigiously and wrote a book about it, thereby leaving a historical account of his efforts.

Acccording to Ringwood Manor, Home of the Hewitts, by Edward Ringwood Hewitt, Trenton Printing Co., Inc., 1946:

The Ogden advertisement of the Ringwood property immediately appealed to Peter Hasenclever and he purchased the property at once. This was the beginning of an extraordinary development for those times. He stated he found the Ringwood furnace in bad condition, with the blowing machinery in poor shape. He at once set about getting the enterprise on its feet with surprising energy. In his published book, he stated that he built at Ringwood – 1 furnace 4 forges and 11 fires; 1 stamping mill; 5 coal houses; 3 blacksmith shops; 17 frame houses with bricks; 4 square log houses; 3 stone houses; 1 store house; 25 colliers’ houses; 1 sawmill; 1 grist mill; 1 horse stable; 1 carpenter’s shop; 4 barracks and barns; 1 reservoir; 4 ponds; 2 bridges…It seems incredible that such an amount of work could have been done in the short space of under two years. At the same time he reports that he purchased 122 horses, 214 draft oxen, 51 cows, and a vast number of tools. He opened and examined 53 different iron mines. Is it any wonder that he expended 54,000 pounds instead of 40,000 and that he became over-extended and unable to carry on?

His work did, however, establish Ringwood as the most complete economic unit in America at that time. One of his contributions was the construction of a dam across the end of Tuxedo Lake, 860 feet long and 12 to 22 feet high, in order to run the water from the lake down to Ringwood so that there would be enough water to run the waterwheel at the furnace for driving the blast at all times. The water from the lake was led by a ditch from the south end of the lake into a brook flowing into the Ringwood River. This ditch can still be seen to the East of the wagon road near the south gate of Tuxedo Park. Water flowed to the Ringwood River in this way for over one hundred years before it again reached Ramapo, as it does now.

According to the Long Pond Iron Works and Ringwood State Park Historical Society, “Born in Germany’s iron-producing Rhine River region, Peter Hasenclever was a man with grand ideas for establishing America’s iron and steel industries over the next two centuries.  With the financial backing from a group of British Investors called The American Company, he sailed to America, landing in New York Harbor in June 1764.  Hasenclever quickly purchased the Ringwood Ironworks and more than 50,000 acres of adjoining land.  This site became the Long Pond Ironworks, named for the large body of water upstream (today’s Greenwood Lake), which provided water power for the ironworks’ furnace and forge.

“In addition to Ringwood and Long Pond, Hasenclever constructed ironworks at Charlotteburg (between present-day Butler and Newfoundland) and Cortland, N.Y, and purchased thousands of acres in upstate New York for large-scale flax, madder and potash production.  At the same time, he transported more than 500 German and English workers and their families to the New World to operate his enterprises.  Hasenclever knew that to be successful, he would need to build self-sufficient villages – or plantations – around each operation, and at each of the ironworks, the workers constructed furnaces, forges, barns, blacksmiths’ shops, ponds, reservoirs, roads, storehouse and homes.  Ringwood had an iron furnace, three forge operations, a grist mill, saw mill, worker’s houses, stores, farms, all in all a very large community.

“All of this labor took about 18 months – and a great deal of money.  Although the ironworks were producing iron by 1766, with several new financial partners, he was eager to get business underway.  Because of the location and the difficulties in transportation, the iron works lost money and so it was not to be; Hasenclever was fired.  Forty-six days after his return [to Germany to plead his case], his new partners sent Jeton Humfray to replace him as ironmaster.  Hasenclever was determined to retain management of the American properties and to prove to his partners that his expenses had been justified.  New Jersey Governor William Franklin (son of Benjamin Franklin) appointed a commission to investigate the situation, and they produced a favorable report about Hasenclever’s achievements.

“Hasenclever left America for England in 1769 with the hope of clearing his name with his partners.  He never returned to America.  Hasenclever spent the rest of his life fighting the charges filed against him and was finally cleared seven months after his death in June 1793.

“Jeston Humfray’s tenure at Hasenclever’s ironworks was also short-lived.  Other records indicate Hasenclever’s replacement was John Jacob Faesch.  In 1771, he was replaced by Robert Erskine.”

Robert Erskine

Colonel Robert Erskine was born in Scotland in 1735.   An inventor and engineer of some renown in his native land, Erskine attended the University of Edinburgh and started a failed business in his youth.  He invented the “Continual Stream Pump” and the “Platometer,” a centrifugal hydraulic engine.  He also experimented with other hydraulic systems. He became active in civic issues and increasingly gained the respect of his community. In 1771, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, a prestigious appointment in the scientific community.

In 1771, the owners of the Long Pond Ironworks tapped Erskine to replace Peter Hasenclever as ironmaster after they fired (unjustly) Hasenclever for profligate spending that nearly bankrupted the operation.

Erskine immediately set about trying to make the operation profitable. His efforts were cut short by the American Revolutionary War. Erskine was sympathetic to the American cause, but worried that might he lose his workers to the army. He organized them into a militia and was appointed a militia captain in August 1775.

Once the war broke out in earnest, there was concern among the rebels that the British warships would use the North River to attack northern forts and separate upstate New York and New England from the rest of the colonies. Erskine, ever the engineer, designed a tetrahedron-shaped marine Chevaux-de-Frose — essentially an iron-chain barrier – that would keep warships from moving upriver.  The Colonial Manor House at Ringwood saw at least five visits from General Washington. Ringwood iron was used for parts of the great Hudson River chain, as well as for camp ovens, tools and other hardware.

George Washington was impressed with Erskine from the moment they met and appointed him to the post of Geographer and Surveyor General of the Continental Army in 1777.  Following his appointment, Erskine drew upwards of 275 maps covering the northern sector of the war. His maps of the region, showing roads, buildings, and other details, were of much use to Gen. Washington and remain historically valuable today.  Many of these maps can be found in the Erskine Dewitt Map Collection at the New York Historical Society.

Gen. Washington valued Ringwood for its iron products (which supplied critical munitions and materials to Washington’s army), Erskine’s map-making defense agency, and as a safe route through northern New Jersey. The military road was actually routed right through Ringwood, the half-way point from West Point to Morristown. Gen. Washington was also at Ringwood on April 19, 1783, the very day that a cessation of hostilities was declared between America and Great Britain.  This momentous day in history was 8 long years to the day from the first shots of the war fired on Lexington Green.

While out on a map-making expedition, Erskine contracted a cold and died on Oct. 2, 1780, probably of pneumonia, at age of 46. He is buried at Ringwood Manor in Ringwood State Park along with more than 400 pioneers, early iron-makers, and Revolutionary War soldiers, including French soldiers of Rochambeau’s army.

After Erskine died, management of Ringwood passed into the hands of his widow Elizabeth and her new husband Robert Lettis Hooper, Jr.  The deed to Ringwood was still held by the English-owned American Iron Company, so in 1782, the couple petitioned the legislature for a special Confiscation Act to get title to the mines and furnaces. Though the petition was only partially granted, Hooper put the company up for sale in 1783.

Martin J. Ryerson

Ringwood lay idle until Martin J. Ryerson (1752-1837) purchased it from the sheriff of Bergen County for unpaid taxes and ran it profitably until his death in 1837.  Ringwood was expanded under Ryerson’s management, and it supplied the war effort of 1812. His sons ran the company until their bankruptcy and it was sold in 1853, again under sheriff’s deed to Peter Cooper (1791-1883), the inventor and philanthropist.

Ryerson’s son would become a millionaire lumber baron.  According to a biography published in the Chicago Tribune and originally attributed to the Muskegon Weekly Chronicle, Sept. 15, 1887:

“Martin Ryerson was born Jan. 6, 1818, near Paterson, Passaic County, N.J. His parents were of the pure, staunch Holland Blood, and traced unbroken descent back to the mother country. At 16 years of age. young Ryerson was an ambitious lad and made up his mind to seek his fortune in the Far West. He made his way to Detroit, and there took the position of clerk with an Indian fur trader named Trouttier. He worked for the trader two or three years and made the most of his opportunities to learn all the details of the trade with the Indians.

“He saw there a large profit in the business and saved his wages until he was able to start in for himself. Then with a stock of trinkets and gaudy notion such as the Indians most desired he began to tramp the State of Michigan from one end to the other. At first he sold his furs in Detroit and afterwards made his headquarters at Grand Rapids.  This extensive acquaintance with the geography of Michigan made him the best known among the Indians of any white man in the State, and fixed indelibly upon his mind the ultimate value of the pine lands.

“He next went to Muskegon, and in 1839 entered the employ of Theodore Newell, who owned a small sawmill and kept a general store. After two years he purchased the store from his employer and subsequently became owner of the sawmill. Newell, long since dead, was at one time well known in Chicago, and his sons are now residents of Kenosha, Wis. It was about 1843 that Mr. Ryerson began to manufacture lumber on his own account. His mill was small and he did business at first upon a very limited Scale. He steadily and rapidly extended into partnership with Robert W. Morris, the firm name being Ryerson & Morris.

“The firm prospered and in the course of a few years, they owned two good size mills, one at the village of Muskegon and the other at the foot of Muskegon Lake. The partnership lasted until 1868, when Ryerson bought out Morris interest, the latter being afflicted with an incurable disease supposed to be cancer of the stomach, and it being decided advisable to settle the partnership affairs before his death.

“Meanwhile, he established lumber yards in Kenosha, Wisc., and Chicago.  The Chicago yard was started as early as 1846 or 1847. John M. Williams was taken into the firm at the Chicago end, and the title was Williams, Ryerson & Co. Williams retired about 1860.  He had large interests in Chicago and lives in Evanston.  After his withdrawal, Ryerson & Morris carried on the business here as at Muskegon. Ryerson became a permanent resident of Chicago about 1848.

“After his return from Europe in 1876, Ryerson began to make investments in Chicago real estate and in the course of time became the owner of some of the best located property in the business district. He first purchased from James W. Scovel the southeast corner of Franklin and Madison streets, the building occupied by H. W. King & Co., wholesale clothing. He next purchased the ground at the northeast corner of Adams Street and Wabash Avenue upon which he erected the large and handsome building occupied for some years by A. S. Gage & Co. His next purchase was on the east side of Wabash Avenue just south of Madison Street, upon which he built the splendid building occupied by S. A. Maxwell & Co.

“Next in order came the property upon the north side of Randolph Street, east of State Street, upon which he built some two years ago, the large building No 45 to 49.  His last large purchase was 330 feet on Market Street, extending to the river, unimproved, for which he paid $330,000.

“In addition to large interest in other Chicago property he has a large interest in estimated 20,000 acres of land back of Muskegon, and the value of his estate is estimated from $3,000,000 to $5,000,000.  He passed the business on to his son Martin A. Ryerson, who formed Ryerson, Hills & Co., consisting of Martin, C. T. Hills of Muskegon, and H. H. Getty.  The firm had no Chicago yards, and all their business is done in cargo lots from Muskegon, where they own two large mills, lumber-yards, etc.

“Mr. Ryerson was twice married. His first wife, who died in 1855, was Louisa M. Duverney, daughter of Pierre C. Duverney of Lower Canada. His second wife was Mary A. Campau of Grand Rapids, Mich. By his first wife he had a daughter, Mrs. Charles Butts, who is now in Europe. By his second wife he had one son Martin A. Ryerson.  Some years ago Mr. Ryerson erected a monument, which stands in Lincoln Park, to his early friends, the Indians, which is one of the most conspicuous ornaments to that beautiful place.”

Martin J. Ryerson (the father) purchased the historic ironworks and began building the present Manor House in 1807 while still operating the iron mines and forges on the property. Ryerson ran five forge-furnace complexes in three counties from his headquarters at Ringwood for the next half century.  Ryerson made shot for the war of 1812 and negotiated land and water rights with the Morris Canal Company for expansion of Long Pond (Greenwood Lake) and construction of the Pompton Feeder on the Morris Canal.  The Ryerson Steel Company is still in operation today.

Peter Cooper

 

Ringwood was sold in 1853, again under sheriff’s deed to Peter Cooper, the inventor and philanthropist

Cooper, born Feb. 12, 1791, was an American industrialist, inventor, philanthropist, and candidate for President of the United States. He designed and built the first steam locomotive in the U.S., and founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan.

Peter Cooper was born in New York City of mixed Dutch, English, and Huguenot descent, the fifth child of John Cooper, a Methodist hatmaker from Newburgh, N.Y.  Peter worked as coachmaker’s apprentice, cabinet maker, hatmaker, brewer and grocer, and was throughout a tinkerer: he developed a cloth-shearing machine which he attempted to sell, as well as an endless chain he intended to be used to pull boats on the Erie Canal, which New York Gov. De Witt Clinton approved of, but which Cooper was unable to sell.

In 1821, Cooper purchased a glue factory on Sunfish Pond for $2,000 in Kips Bay, where he had access to raw materials from the nearby slaughterhouses, and ran it as a successful business for many years, producing a profit of $10,000 within two years, developing new ways to produce glues and cements, gelatin, isinglass, and other products, and becoming the city’s premiere provider to tanners, paint manufacturers, and dry-goods merchants.  The effluent from his successful factory eventually polluted the pond to the extent that in 1839 it had to be drained and filled.

Having been convinced that the proposed Baltimore and Ohio Railroad would drive up prices for land in Maryland, Cooper used his profits to buy 3,000 acres of land there in 1828 and began to develop them, draining swampland and flattening hills, during which he discovered iron ore on his property. Seeing the B&O as a natural market for iron rails to be made from his ore, he founded the Canton Iron Works in Baltimore, and when the railroad developed technical problems, he put together the Tom Thumb steam locomotive for them in 1830 from various old parts, including musket barrels, and some small-scale steam engines he had fiddled with back in New York. The engine was a rousing success, prompting investors to buy stock in B&O, which enabled the company to buy Cooper’s iron rails, making him what would be his first fortune.

Cooper began operating an iron rolling mill in New York beginning in 1836, where he was the first to successfully use anthracite coal to puddle iron.  Cooper later moved the mill to Trenton, N.J. on the Delaware River to be closer to the sources of the raw materials the works needed. His son and son-in-law, Edward Cooper and Abram S. Hewitt, later expanded the Trenton facility into a giant complex employing 2,000 people, in which iron was taken from raw material to finished product.

Cooper later invested in real estate and insurance, and became one of the richest men in New York City.  Despite this, he lived relatively simply in an age when the rich were indulging in more and more luxury. He dressed in simple, plain clothes, and limited his household to only two servants; when his wife bought an expensive and elaborate carriage, he returned it for a more sedate and cheaper one. Cooper remained in a working-class neighborhood, where cattle cars were parked practically outside his front door, although he eventually moved to the more genteel Gramercy Park development in 1850.

In 1854, Cooper was one of five men who met at the house of Cyrus West Field in Gramercy Park to form the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company and, in 1855, the American Telegraph Company, which bought up competitors and established extensive control over the expanding American network on the Atlantic Coast and in some Gulf Coast states.  He was among those supervising the laying of the first Transatlantic telegraph cable in 1858.

In 1840, Cooper became an alderman of New York City.

Prior to the Civil War, Cooper was active in the anti-slavery movement and promoted the application of Christian concepts to solve social injustice. He was a strong supporter of the Union cause during the war and an advocate of the government issue of paper money.

Influenced by the writings of Lydia Maria Child, Cooper became involved in the Indian reform movement, organizing the privately-funded United States Indian Commission. This organization, whose members included William E. Dodge and Henry Ward Beecher, was dedicated to the protection and elevation of Native Americans in the United States and the elimination of warfare in the western territories.

Cooper’s efforts led to the formation of the Board of Indian Commissioners, which oversaw Ulysses S. Grant’s Peace Policy. Between 1870 and 1875, Cooper sponsored Indian delegations to Washington, D.C.,  New York City, and other Eastern cities. These delegations met with Indian rights advocates and addressed the public on United States Indian policy. Speakers included: Red Cloud, Little Raven, Alfred B. Meacham, minister who advocated for the rights of Indians, and a delegation of Modoc and Klamath Indians.

Cooper was an ardent critic of the gold standard and the debt-based monetary system of bank currency. Throughout the depression from 1873–78, he said that usury was the foremost political problem of the day.  He strongly advocated a credit-based, Government-issued currency of United States Notes.  In 1883 his addresses, letters and articles on public affairs were compiled into a book, Ideas for a Science of Good Government.

Cooper was encouraged to run in the 1876 presidential election for the Greenback Party without any hope of being elected. The campaign cost more than $25,000.  At the age of 85 years, Cooper is the oldest person ever nominated by any political party for President of the United States. The election was won by Rutherford B. Hayes of the Republican Party.

In 1813, Cooper married Sarah Bedell . They had a son, Edward, and a daughter Sarah Amelia. Edward served as Mayor of New York City, as would the husband of Sarah Amelia, Abram S. Hewitt, a man also heavily involved in inventions and industrialization, and served as his partner in the Ringwood mines operation.

Cooper was a Unitarian who regularly attended the services of Henry Whitney Bellows, and his views were Universalistic and non-sectarian. In 1873 he wrote:

I look to see the day when the teachers of Christianity will rise above all the cramping powers and conflicting creeds and systems of human device, when they will beseech mankind by all the mercies of God to be reconciled to the government of love, the only government that can ever bring the kingdom of heaven into the hearts of mankind either here or hereafter.

Cooper had an interest in adult education: he had served as head of the Public School Society – a private organization which ran New York City’s free schools using city money [no wonder Karl Marx was invited to speak at the Cooper Union!] – when it began evening classes in 1848.  Cooper conceived of the idea of having a free institute in New York, similar to the Ecole Polytechnique (Polytechnical School) in Paris, which would offer free practical education to adults in the mechanical arts and sciences, to help prepare young men and women of the working classes for success in business.

In 1853, he broke ground for the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a private college in New York, completing the building in 1859 at the cost of $600,000. Cooper Union offered open-admission night classes available to men and women alike, and attracted 2,000 responses to its initial offering, although 600 later dropped out. The classes were non-sectarian, and women were treated equally with men, although 95 percent of the students were male. Cooper started a Women’s School of Design, which offered daytime courses in engraving, lithography, painting on china, and drawing.

The new institution soon became an important part of the community. The Great Hall was a place where the pressing civic controversies of the day could be debated – and, unusually, radical views were not excluded.  Karl Marx spoke there.  In addition, the Union’s library, unlike the nearby Astor, Mercantile, and New York Society Libraries, was open until 10:00 at night, so that working people could make use of them after work hours.  Today, the Cooper Union carries on Cooper’s belief that college education should be free, awarding all its students with a full scholarship.

Peter Cooper died on April 4, 1883 at the age of 92.

 

Abram Stevens Hewitt

Abram Stevens Hewitt was born in 1822.  Cooper’s son-in-law and partner in Cooper, Hewitt, & Company, Hewitt was brought in as business manager of the operation. The Ringwood site supplied the Union Army with gun carriages, mortars, and gun barrel iron nearly at cost during the Civil War.  Upon the death of Cooper, who had purchased nearly 100,000 acres to expand the Ringwood properties, title passed to Hewitt, who in 1878 substantially enlarged the Ringwood Manor estate by adding on to the house built by Erskine.

Cooper’s young son-in-law, Abram S. Hewitt, bought Ringwood in 1854, on behalf of Cooper.  The properties were purchased for the rich local iron deposits but Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt set about making the old Ringwood estate their summer home. Hewitt enlarged the Manor in the 1860s and 70s.  The completed house contains 51 rooms built in a wide range of styles that characterize the Victorian Period. This impressive house is 226.5 feet long and features 24 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, 28 bedrooms and more than 250 windows.

The forges, mills, village and farms that serviced the iron industry gradually turned into the Victorian summer estate of the Hewitts, one of the wealthiest and most influential families of 19th-century America.  However, due to recent theft and vandalism – thieves openly stole paintings and muskets from the walls while the museum was open to visitors – the house is closed to the public.  It’s a pity because the house contains an impressive library, not as vast as the Vanderbilt mansion, but very interesting all the same.

As better grades of ore became available from mines in Minnesota and Michigan in the 1880s, the operation at Ringwood began to falter.  The accountants told Cooper and Hewitt in 1884 that the mines were no longer profitable.  Hewitt had been in the process of building a new, larger water wheel for the forge.  Still the Hewitt family kept Ringwood in operation until 1931, when the company abandoned the site, giving the houses to the workers who had been put out of work, and the estate to New Jersey.  

Hewitt was a teacher, lawyer, an iron manufacturer, chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1876 to 1877, U.S. Congressman and a mayor of New York City.  He was the son-in-law of Peter Cooper and best known. He is best known for his work with the Cooper Union, which he aided Peter Cooper in founding in 1859, and for planning the financing and construction of the New York City subway system, for which he is considered the “Father of the New York City Subway System.”

In 1845, financed by Peter Cooper, Hewitt and Edward Cooper started an iron mill in Trenton, N.J., the Trenton Iron Company, where, in 1854, they produced the first structural wrought iron  beams, as well as developing other innovative products. Hewitt also invested in other companies, in many case serving on their boards.  Hewitt was known for dedicated work for the U.S. government and exceptionally good relations with his employees.

After his marriage to Sarah Cooper, Hewitt supervised the construction of Cooper Union, Peter Cooper’s free educational institution, and chaired the board of trustees until 1903.

In 1871, inspired by reformer Samuel J. Tilden, Cooper was prominent in the campaign to bring about the fall of the corrupt Tammany Hall-based “Tweed Ring,” led by the William M. Tweed, and helped reorganize the Democrat Party in New York, which Tweed and Tammany had controlled. He first ventured into elective politics in 1874, when he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served for five terms. He also became the head of the Democrat National Committee in 1876, when Tilden ran for President.  Hewitt made the speech at the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge.

In 1886, Hewitt was elected mayor of New York City when Richard Croker of Tammany Hall – which had resumed its control of the Democratic Party in the city – arranged for Hewitt to get the Democratic nomination, despite his being the leader of the anti-Tammany “Swallowtails” of the party: Croker needed a strong candidate to oppose the United Labor Party candidate, political economist Henry George. Tammany feared that a win by George might reorganize politics in the city along class lines, rather than along ethnic lines, which is where Tammany drew its power. Theodore Roosevelt, running as the Republican Party candidate, came in third. Hewitt was not successful as a mayor, due both to his unpleasant character and nativist belief. 

Nativism is the political position of demanding a favored status for certain established inhabitants of a nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants. Nativism typically means opposition to immigration and support of efforts to lower the political or legal status of specific ethnic or cultural groups because the groups are considered hostile or alien to the natural culture, and assumptions that they cannot be assimilated.  He refused, for instance, to review the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a decision which alienated most of the Democratic power base.  Hewitt also refused to allow Tammany the control of patronage they wanted, and Croker saw to it that Hewitt was not nominated for a second term.

An ironic attitude, over a century later, for a Democrat.

Hewitt was considered a consistent defender of sound practices – he is famously quoted as saying “Unnecessary taxation is unjust taxation” – another ironic attitude for a Democrat – and civil service reform.  He was conspicuous for his public spirit, and developed an innovative funding and construction plan for the New York City subway system, for which he is known as the “Father of the New York City Subway System.”  Mass transportation – a definite Democrat and Socialist notion.  However, New York City is the one city in the entire world where mass transportation makes sense.

Hewitt had many investments in natural resources, including considerable holdings in West Virginia. He was also an associate of Henry Huttleston Rogers, a financier and industrialist who was a key man in the Standard Oil Trust, and a major developer of natural resources. One of Hewitt’s investments handled by Rogers and Page was the Loup Creek Estate in Fayette County, W.Va.  The Deepwater Railway was a subsidiary initially formed by the Loup Creek investors to ship bituminous coal from mines on their land a short distance from the main line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) along the Kanawha River.  After rate disputes, the tiny short line railroad was eventually expanded to extend all the way into Virginia and across that state to a new coal pier at  Sewells’ Point on Hampton Roads.  Planned secretly right under the noses of the large railroads, it was renamed the Virginia Railway, and was also known as the “richest little railroad in the world” for much of the 20th century.

Hewitt died in 1903, and was interred at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y.  Reportedly, his last words, after he took his oxygen tube from his mouth, were, “And now, I am officially dead.”

His daughters, Amy, Eleanor, and Sarah Hewitt, founded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. His son, Peter Cooper Hewitt, was a successful inventor, while another son, Edward Ringwood Hewitt, was also an inventor, a chemist and an early expert on fly-fishing.  Hewitt’s youngest son, Erskine Hewitt (1878–1938), was a lawyer and philanthropist in New York City.  In 1936, he donated Ringwood Manor  and 95 acres of land to the New Jersey State Department of Conservation and Development for public use and preservation as Ringwood Manor State Park. Norvin H. Green (d.1955), a nephew of Erskine Hewitt, donated additional land to bring the total park acreage to 579. The park has been opened to the public since 1938 and contains the sites of the ironworks that were in operation since the management of Robert Erskine.

After unsuccessful attempts to rehabilitate the mines in 1942, 1947, and 1951, Ford Motor Company purchased the mines and land in 1964.  From 1967-1972, Ford used the abandoned shafts of Peter’s Mine and Cannon Mine to dispose waste from the nearby Mahwah auto plant, and in 1970, donated 290 acres in the southern part of the site to the Ringwood Solid Waste Management Authority for the operation of a municipal disposal area. The site was closed by the state in 1976 because of contamination of groundwater, surface streams, and the nearby Wanaque Reservoir. Ringwood was placed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of sites eligible for Superfund cleanup in 1983 and financial responsibility for the cleanup was given to Ford International Services, who started on the project. Although monitoring of ground and surface water continues, the Ringwood mining site was removed from the Superfund list in 1994.

West Milford – and its environs – is as rich in history as it was in iron ore, forging great men as well as great works in its green hills.  The modern “Milford” – Newark – is about as ignorant of this history of its ancestors as someone from Shanghai, China or Dallas, Texas.  They have their own histories to point to.  At least they point to them and take pride in their heritage.  Today’s Newark residents couldn’t care less.  They have an entirely different heritage.  Little do they know that the owners of Ringwood freed their black slaves before the Civil War.  Descendants of those freed blacks still live in the hills of West Milford and Ringwood.

Iron is a durable mineral, tough and strong; if left untended in the rain, it will rust.  As you can see, Abram Hewitt was a “nativist,” a believer in home-rule.  That same attitude exists in West Milford’s hills today.

The problem is property taxes.  Property owners hold large tracts of land that are expensive to maintain in the shadow of high taxes.  Either they must build on the land or sell it for development.  Newark, still West Milford’s master, owning one-third of township lands, wants its share of tax money, but it also wants to retain West Milford as a pristine recreational area and force its residence into high-density housing; the same sort that plagues Newark and makes it susceptible to crime.

Seven hundred residents crowded into West Milford’s tiny PAL Center on Tuesday to meet with Gov. Christie to complain about their property taxes, even while he urged them towards shared services.  West Milford is already a township, with the largest police force outside of Newark itself.  What’s more, the township encompasses 80 square miles of land.  Most of it is forest, but the houses are spread out in developed clusters across the hills and valleys.  Accountants might want to see a consolidation of services, but when you have a house burning on Burnt Meadow Road, it takes time for the fire department to get there, straining up a mountainous (and in this case, impassable in some places) roads.  The ride up Macopin Road from the Bloomingdale border to the center of West Milford proper is 20 minutes.  That’s a long ride for a police car rushing to an accident scene or an ambulance responding to a call.

The residents asked the governor to either allow them to develop or lower their taxes on undeveloped land.  They are also concerned about how much of their county taxes are going to West Milford Township, for the county roads (and there are many) and how much is going to support the blighted cities in southern Passaic County, cities that are smaller versions of Newark.  Paterson is in a financial crisis.  Their services are consolidated, but so are their residents.  West Milfordites are not necessarily adverse to development which, from a conservation point, would be unfortunate.  They would sell off the very virtue that makes West Milford so attractive.

There are still iron works industries in West Milford, principally on the northern terminus of the aforementioned Burnt Meadow Roads.  West Milford was once the home of Jungle Habitat (through which the same road runs).  Now it’s otherwise mostly residential.  A number of the residents, whose genealogy traces all the way back to the original Milfordites, are poor, or at least not particularly affluent.  Newer residents, living in the McMansions that are spoiling the countryside, have more money.

The Regionalists propose to move Newark residents to places like West Milford, and move the workers of West Milford to places like Newark, where they hope industry will at last return.  West Milfordites would return to the place from which they fled almost three hundred years ago. The new Newarkers would journey to West Milford, which they would quickly, through poverty, ignorance, and resentment, turn into a new Newark, spoiling the countryside with their indifference as surely as a new, sprawling housing development would, denuding the hills of trees just as they were denuded during the Iron Age.

The “iron-y” is palpable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm  Comments (2)