It has always been a fascination when I read about pensions — especially forced pension payments from those who are made to pay as a requirement of their continued employment, with some paying over $800 a month into State “pension” coffers — and how those workers are demonized by the Far Right who believe public servants and private pensioners are somehow taking advantage of those who do not pay into a pension program. Pensions are not payoffs or welfare. Pensions are earned investment money entrusted to public or private equity.
Tag Archives: new jersey
There’s an Old Black Guy who stands outside the Journal Square Bus station in Jersey City station selling newspapers on the sidewalk every morning. He greets everyone who walks past him with a hearty, “Good morning, and how are you doin’ this fine day?” His voice is syrupy and friendly, but since he repeats that phrase to single person who passes by, the genuineness of the greeting quickly becomes lost in the rote citation.
One morning, an Old White Guy came up to the Old Black Guy and I overheard their conversation that I will share with you now.
The noises of summertime in Monmouth County, New Jersey start very early in my neighborhood, which has a population ranging from sleepless retirees to gleeful little kids. The ever-present drone of lawnmowers starts to crop up at around seven o’clock in the morning, with the occasional “thwack!” (and subsequent cursing) as an overexcited neighbor unintentionally mows rocks or old toys.
There’s a thin strip of land in the Jersey City Heights wedged between the street and the edge of the baseball field near the reservoir. A few times a year, a carnival, of sorts, will encamp in that one-block-long urban landscape, transforming the area into the saddest little carnival in the world — filled with emptiness and longing and no joy to be had anywhere for any ticket price. Even the Fire Ball circle roller coaster has no flame.
Mike Rice is the head coach — and Head Bully — of the Rutgers University basketball team. By the time you read this, Rice may be long gone, but his bloody head will not be the only one rolling down College Avenue. Athletic Director Tim Pernetti most certainly should lose his head as well — as should Pernetti’s school bosses, like the President Robert Barchi, who, it appears, refused, along with Pernetti, to fire Mike Rice in November 2012 even after watching video evidence of the coach physically and verbally abusing his undergraduate basketball team during practice. The Rutgers Board of Trustees must act now and clean the Rutgers house and fire Mike Rice, Tim Pernetti and President Robert Barchi — because they were all in collusion to not protect the welfare of the student athletes entrusted to their care.
Today, as I casually pondered what I would do with my day off, I had a jolting moment that I’m sure many people in the tri-state area have experienced. I thought to myself that maybe I would head over to my beach, particularly its recreation areas– and then was struck with the memory that I couldn’t.
I spent some time in New York City this weekend, and at some point between pushing past slow tourists and instinctively dodging comedy show promoters, I couldn’t help thinking about the oddness of city life and the East coast in general. Having grown up in New Jersey and spending plenty of time in New York, I usually follow the unspoken rule of, well, not speaking.