Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

May 31, 2012

Government At It’s Finest

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:12 pm

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Car Battery Start-Ups Fizzle

 

Since 2009, the Obama administration has awarded more than $1 billion to American companies to make advanced batteries for electric vehicles. Halfway to a six-year goal of producing one million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, auto makers are barely at 50,000 cars.

The money funded nine battery plants—scattered across the U.S. from Michigan to Pennsylvania and Florida—that have few customers, operate well below capacity and, so far, have created less than a third of the jobs promised by 2015. Customers including start-up Fisker Automotive Inc. and auto makers like General Motors Co. that urged the funding have struggled to produce and sell battery-powered cars, though they insist a market is coming.

President Obama heralded the “birth of an entire new industry” during the ceremonial opening of A123 Systems Inc.’s production plant in 2010. The president’s 2013 budget proposal asks for an increase in tax credits to car buyers to amp sales.

Getting to that electric-car nirvana is proving more difficult. A123 is scrambling to stanch losses and raise new money to stabilize its finances. Rival Johnson Controls Inc. used government grants to build a battery plant in Holland, Mich., but that facility is nearly idled now after its main customer went bankrupt. Korea’s LG Chem built a plant in Michigan to supply General Motors, but that plant, which employs 220 people, hasn’t yet begun production, a company spokesman confirmed.

What happened? The U.S. provided grants that tied the battery makers to aggressive timetables, requiring each to achieve production and staffing targets that would supply tens of thousands of vehicles a year. But those production timetables weren’t linked to market demand leaving to a shake out among suppliers.

The mismatch between production and market demand has resulted in……….

And so on and so on…

So did the government learn a lesson from this debacle?  Uh……no.

The Department of Energy, which oversees the administration’s advanced battery grants, says it is too early to judge the effort, and believes it will bear fruit when electric cars become a regular sight on American highways.

“We are trying to build the infrastructure for the American battery industry,” said David Sandalow, the acting undersecretary of energy, in an interview. “Short-term trends can be important, but let’s keep our eye on the medium and long term.”

So, you see, we’ve got to stop thinking short term.  The government needs to continue hosing us far into the future in order to pursue their pipe dreams for the medium and long term as well.  That’s certainly reassuring!

 

 

May 28, 2012

Remember

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:14 am

Hopefully every American will pause today to think of those killed in the wars and also of those young men and women who have been so grievously wounded that had they suffered those injuries in any of our previous conflicts would also have been among the dead.  They may be alive, but they can never fully experience the joys of life with half their bodies missing.

I believe that perhaps the best way to honor these heroes and heroines is to resolve, going forward, to do everything humanly possible to prevent any more of today’s young people, our children, from having to be remembered in this way.

May 27, 2012

The Asbury Park Press Must Be Reading My Mind (Or My Blog)

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:48 am

I swear I had no idea when I wrote the story below that the Press would have the beach fee issue as their featured story this morning.  (The issue had attracted my interest because of the budget discussions I have listened to recently.)  I just got the paper off my driveway a few minutes ago.

Read it here.

BTW, it came as little surprise, at least to me, that former Public Advocate Ronald Chen approves of Belmar’s handling of the issue.  Chen, a Corzine appointee, is a fan of our mayor’s, having contributed $100 to Doherty’s 2009 council race.

 

 

Belmar’s Fantasy

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:09 am

From the Superior Court of New Jersey, in a decision handed down August 29, 1989, that strickly limits Belmar’s use of beach funds:

“It is clear that the statute directs it’s “reasonable fee” standard to the municipality, however, this fee must be reasonable in relation to the municipality’s expenses incurred as a result of the beachfront.  This is not to say that Belmar can “fantasize” that it is an inland community and allocate any additional costs above and beyond it’s imaginary expenses as an inland community.

Belmar, as a beachfront municipality,  benefits overall from the shore attraction.  This is an added benefit, or in some cases, a burden to the municipality that comes with the territory.

We are all familiar with the burdens associated with being a resort town, and hopefully we are using the beach funds for every expense that we can legitimately charge to the beach in the eyes of the state.  But as Judge Milberg points out in the above passage, there are benefits that are Belmar’s alone to enjoy.  The most obvious one is our thriving hospitality industry.  Another one, at least from a financial viewpoint, is the fact that half of the houses in town are summer houses.  Many of these houses are quite valuable and their owners pay a lot of property tax.  Think about that.  Something like half of our property tax receipts come from people who do not use our schools and only use a fraction of other services such as trash removal.  If all the housing stock here were to be year-round occupied, as the housing stock is in inland towns, Belmar’s budget, if nothing else were changed, would probably need to be half again as big as it is now.  But property tax revenues would be the same.  The tax rates would need to increase dramatically to support the government we have now.  So the budgeters at city hall should thank their lucky stars that, because of the distortions caused by the way we fund our schools and other services, their job is much easier than it is for people who do the same job for other towns. 

Another benefit: Our ocean is beautiful.  And the air smells great here, especially on foggy mornings.  

So let’s try to avoid “fantasizing” that we live in an inland town and that any expense associated with the summer crowds should be paid for by the beach.  Anyone who wants to live in an inland town is free to move.  As for me, I don’t fantasize about living anywhere more than a few blocks from the sea even if it made my taxes higher.  But as I point out above, it shouldn’t.

May 25, 2012

Meet Our New Assassination Czar

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:06 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully, clicking on the story here won’t get you on his list.

May 20, 2012

We’re Here To Protect You…..Sorry We Killed You Instead

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:54 am

Well, we’re not really sorry.

 

If they were really sorry maybe they’d stop doing it.

Two stories, both on page 3 of today’s Asbury Park Press seem unrelated but have a common thread.  Bob Ingle’s column (not yet available on-line) discusses the effort by the great New Jersey State Senator Michael Doherty to ban the use of red-light cameras in the state.  Ingle points to many of the problems that I have detailed on these pages but also hits on one I missed completely:  Drivers, when stopped at a red light that has a camera, will no longer move over the stop line to let an ambulance through.  For them, it’s just not worth the hassle of having to fight the ticket that will inevitable arrive.  Precious minutes are now lost because the government thinks it’s cameras are making us safer (and them richer).  The consequences can be, and probably already have been, deadly for some emergency patients.

Related to this story, at least in my mind, is an item in the “Capital Quickies” column.  Titled “Overdose bill stalled in N.J.”,  it, too, is unavailable on-line.  The story describes the so-far fruitless efforts by Patty DiRenzo, the mother of an overdose victim, to get the government to give immunity from prosecution to people who call 911 to report a companion’s overdose.  As it stands now, the police arrest everyone at the scene, so nobody calls for help.  This is one of the many ways that the government’s war on drugs kills people.  

Ms. DiRenzo’s idea seems like a no-brainer, and therefore lies the problem.  Brainpower and government in this state appear to be mutually exclusive terms.   

 

 

File Under:

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:50 am

What Goes Around Comes Around.

 

From today’s Asbury Park Press story about the sentencing of Dharun Ravi:

Communities that once fought for bias intimidation laws now are questioning their application in this case,…….

And:

Ravi’s mother, Sabitha, spoke at the rally, as did Pradip “Pete” Kothari, who said he was among those in New Jersey who originally pushed for the bias intimidation statute in the wake of a fatal beating in 1987 of an Indian man in Hoboken.

“The very law the members of our community have asked for in the past has been put against somebody wrongfully to ruin his life and his family’s life,” Kothari said. “They should not have tried Dharun Ravi for hate crimes. That was a wrong judgment by the prosecutor.”

At least one gay-rights activist gets it:

Members of the gay community, likewise, are unhappy with how the bias intimidation laws are being applied here. Bill Dobbs, a New York-based gay activist and civil libertarian who attended the Ravi trial and rally, said the bias intimidation laws are unnecessary and have the potential to cause backlash.

May 17, 2012

AAAAGGGHHHH! KIDS! NOOOOOOO!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:01 am

From today’s Asbury Park Press story about the proposed skuttling of the age restriction on renting back houses:

 But some Belmar residents are concerned about the impact the proposed change could have on the borough’s population. Opening up more units in the built-out borough to year-round residents could increase the number of students in local public schools, leading to an increase in property taxes, resident Anne Condon said.

Didn’t Someone Make $2 Billion?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:02 am

With all the hand wringing over J.P. Morgan’s trading loss, and the calls by the planners for more regulations to make sure it never happens again, isn’t anyone considering that some other company or companies made $2 billion?  Isn’t that a good thing?  Think of all the taxes they will have to pay on that $2 billion.  Why should the government make it it’s business which company made the $2 billion and which company lost it?

From the Daily Mail:

 President Barack Obama has $500,001 to $1 million in a JPMorgan Chase private client asset management checking account, according to financial disclosures released by the White House on Tuesday.
Mr Obama said this week that JPMorgan was ‘one of the best managed banks there is’ despite its $2 billion trading loss being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission………..

Oh.

May 16, 2012

Today Belmar……..Tomorrow New Jersey!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:44 pm

State Senator Mike Doherty launches drive to ban red-light cameras in NJ!

Read about it here.

Sign the petition here.

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