Saturday, July 4, 2015

What a Liberal Does on the Fourth of July

A blast from the past that I think sums it up pretty well.

By Dan Bimrose,Founder,
Post @

For certain elements of society the word liberal has become interchangeable with such words as communist, socialist and fascist.

While liberals such as myself choose to associate themselves with such historic figures as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, those same elements of society would suggest that each of us tree hugging "ne-er do wells" have a secret room with a secret wall painted red and devoted to displaying pictures of Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin.

On a day when we should all celebrate our nation and some of us recount historically accurate stories of our nation's birth, there are members of society who find it difficult to imagine that it would be possible for self-styled liberals, progressives and Democrats to find cause for celebration on the Fourth of July.

This all too common charge that those like us are unpatriotic and un-American is an allegation that I take great umbrage with.

By definition conservatives and liberals do not think alike and that is just fine. The idea, however, that liberals are unpatriotic is absurd. Those who say such things are guilty of one of two things, they are either ignorant or they are lying with the intent of influencing your opinion so that it more closely represents their opinion.

Liberals do find it difficult to stomach the assertion that our founding fathers believed that there is an inherit bias toward discrimination in the documents and actions produced by those very same founding fathers.

I will allow that the 3/5 compromise which allowed for slaves to be counted as 3/5 of a white man for the purpose of determining a states representation in Congress, and the lack of a provision guaranteeing women the right to vote were monumental fails in regards to discrimination. The need to compromise to achieve a bigger goal allowed for these fails to exist.

Time, acquired wisdom, and progress would eventually fix these wrongs. Liberals respect, honor and cherish the Constitution as an evolving document capable of being changed when we as a nation are ready for change.

We believe that the founders had it right when they said in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." We believe this to be the very worthy intent of our founding fathers.

We acknowledge conservatives love the Constitution as well. Well, they love certain parts of the Constitution. Different conservative groups would love to repeal a variety of amendments including the 8th, the 14th, the 16th, the 17th, the 19th and possibly the 26th amendment.

Liberals do believe that children born in the inner city or poverty stricken rural areas deserve the same access to health care as blue bloods spending the holiday on Martha's Vineyard. We are not unpatriotic because we believe this. Perhaps you could call us compassionate, but not unpatriotic.

We understand that we pass on more to our children than just budgets and balance sheets. We also pass on the environment and the planet to our children and grandchildren. Regardless of whether or not we feel that global warming is real or a myth we still value clean water and clean air.

We may not appreciate the wars we are currently fighting in the Middle East, but we love and respect our soldiers. After all they are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives and husbands.

We believe that teachers, policeman and firefighters should be paid and paid well due to their value and service to our community.

We believe that all of our children deserve libraries, gym class, and the opportunity to star in their school play.

We believe our country is great because we are a melting pot, not in spite of it. We value diversity. This is the American Way. This was the American dream.

We pay our taxes, but think that the wealthiest amongst us and the most profitable industries can share in bearing a little extra burden to fix our government's mistakes.

We believe that our senior citizens are people who have served our countries and their families well. They deserve not just our respect, but the ability to retire with the reasonable assurance that their health needs and financial needs will be met.

No, we do not agree with everything and most of the time we do not agree with anything, but it is not necessary to call each other unpatriotic or un-American. Liberals do not think conservatives are evil, we just think they are wrong. Perhaps some of the name calling conservatives out there will learn that liberals are Americans too.

What will I be doing this 4th of July?

More than likely my children will wake me up early so that we can go to the local parade, but before we leave for the parade I will hang our flag outside.

I am assuming and hoping the day will be filled with at least two Italian sausages smothered in onions, one elephant ear, and multiple lemon shake-ups. At the parade I will shake hands with a few elected officials, but reserve my support and encouragement for those politicians that are Democrats. In my part of Indiana, they need all the help they can get.

I will conclude the day by watching the local fireworks display right before rushing home to put the kids in the tub so I can clean off the cotton candy that has become caked on their faces. With any luck I will not have to get out the tweezers to remove a roasted peanut from my youngest daughter's ear.

We will go straight from the tub to the bedroom where we will sing songs and the kids will say their prayers before being tucked in and given strict orders to "sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite".

So what do liberals do on the 4th of July?

Pretty much the same thing everyone else does.

Happy 4th of July and God Bless America.

A Little History On This 239th 4th of July


Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

The Birth of American Independence

When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in Thomas Paine's bestselling pamphlet "Common Sense," published in early 1776.  On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the PennsylvaniaState House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee's resolution, but appointed a five-man committee--including Thomas Jefferson of VirginiaJohn Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York--to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee's resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 "will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival" and that the celebration should include "Pomp and Parade...Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." On July 4th, the Congress formally adopted theDeclaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence. 

Early Fourth of July Celebrations

In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king's birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III, as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy's hold on America and the triumph of liberty. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation's emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties--Federalists and Democratic-Republicans--that had arisen began holding separate Independence Day celebrations in many large cities.

July 4th Becomes A National Holiday

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is "The Star-Spangled Banner," the national anthem of the United States. 

President Obama's Weekly Address 7/4/15: Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President wished everyone a happy Fourth of July. He honored the individuals who, throughout the history of America, have struggled and sacrificed to make this country a better place, from our Founding Fathers, to the men and women in uniform serving at home and overseas. The President asked that on this most American of holidays we remember the words of our founders, when they declared our independence and that all are created equal, and that we continue to protect that creed and make sure it applies to every single American. And finally, he wished good luck to the U.S. Women’s National Team competing in the World Cup Final this weekend.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fourth Of July Safety Tips To Remember

I posted this last year, it contains some great information that I think people would be wise to heed. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Each year, especially during the early summer weeks around the Fourth of July, thousands of people are treated in emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries. While some are minor, many of these injuries are serious, for example, resulting in burns or blindness.

Last year the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices. In addition, an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries.

Between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4 holiday. More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.

Fireworks. They are something that goes with the celebration of Independence Day. But no matter how fun they are and how beautiful they are when they explode into the sky, fireworks often bring pain and sometimes death, when they aren’t handled properly.

Firework Injuries:

According to the CPSC, the hands and fingers receive 46% of the injuries associated with fireworks, followed by heads, faces and ears with 17%, trunks with 5%, legs with 11%, eyes with 17% and arms with 4%. Over half of these injuries were minor to severe burns. Firecrackers (23%), bottle rockets (12%) and sparklers (12%) are the primary types of fireworks that resulted in injury.

Firework Safety Tips

Fireworks can be dangerous, so in order to prevent injuries and deaths that are related to fireworks, here are a few firework safety tips to follow this Fourth of July:

- Children should never be allowed to ignite or play with fireworks (even sparklers).
- An adult should always be supervising firework activity.
- A garden hose or bucket of water should always be on hand in the event of a mishap or fire.
- No one should ever try to pick up or re-ignite a firework that did not ignite properly or fully the first time around.
- Fireworks should only be lit one at a time and the person lighting them should immediately move away from the firework after lighting it.

Child Safety

Due to the large attendance of most Independence Day-related activities, it is crucial that Families focus on child safety and meet-up plans.

Families should consider wearing unique, identifiable colors, hold hands at all times and/or buddy up.
A unique way of ensuring you are contacted if your child is lost in a crowd is to have your child wear a beaded bracelet that has your phone number or consider getting an ID bracelet or something similar. Determine a time and place to meet should the Family separate. Make sure that you child knows to find a police officer if they get lost in a crowd.

Water Safety

Because almost everyone heads out to the beach, lake or river for 4th of July, it is important that you and your Family are kept as safe as possible while playing in the water or out in the water with your jet ski or boat. Here are some water safety tips:

- Make sure the children - and even adults - always have a life jacket on when in the water or on a motorized water vehicle (boat, jet ski, etc.)
- Never let your children swim alone. An adult should always be present and paying attention.
- Always step “Feet First” into shallow water and never try to dive.
- Alcohol, fireworks and Fourth of July do not mix well. Drink responsibly and make sure to have a designated driver available.
- Review safe boating practices.
- Always have a phone handy should an emergency arise.
- Know your limits when it comes to water.

Sun Safety

Whether you are planning a fun day at the beach or local theme park, don't let the day be ruined by a painful sunburn. Here are a few tips to help avoid the burn.
  • Avoid the sun during its hottest hours, between 10 am and 2 pm.
  • Use sunscreen with a SPF factor of at least 15.
  • Apply sun block 15 to 30 minutes before going into the sun.
  • Reapply sun block throughout the day, especially if you are swimming or perspiring.
  • Use sun block protection for your lips. (Only use sun block that is specifically designed for the lips.)
  • Don't let an overcast day fool you - the sun's UV rays are just as strong.
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the face, ears and neck.
  • Be sure to protect your eyes, by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Certain medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun. If you are taking medication - consult your physician or pharmacy before spending prolonged time in the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Check the UV (Ultra Violet) Sun Index. As a general rule, the higher the UV Index the higher the SPF needed in your sunscreen.

UV Sun Index
Index number and Exposure Level:
0 to 2 - minimal
3 to 4 - low
5 to 6 - moderate
7 to 9 - high
10 + - very high

Food Safety

4th of July barbeques are one of the most important times to remember food safety. Food safety is extremely important when serving items like potato salad. You must remember to keep foods with mayonnaise cold or salmonella could set in. If salmonella does set in, the safety of your guests will be in danger. Some people simply get nauseous when they get salmonella, while others are much more deeply affected by this condition. Some people are even left with arthritis that affects the person's entire body. If you do serve foods with mayonnaise, be sure to serve them as soon as the party starts. Also remember to cook chicken and hamburgers well done. If your guests complain about the well done hamburgers, just remember that their safety is more important than them turning their noses up to a well done hamburger.

Hope you, your family and friends have a fun and SAFE Holiday/Summer!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Move Over and Make Some Room

NJ Watchdog: Christie promises to 'tell it like it is,' but hides truths in NJ

Chris Christie declared his candidacy for president Tuesday, promising America that he would “tell it like it is.” But his track record in New Jersey shows the governor has often gone to great lengths to hide the truth from taxpayers.

“We are going to tell it like it is,” Christie proclaimed in a gymnasium packed with supporters at Livingston High School. “The truth will set us free.”

In contrast, New Jersey Watchdog and other news outlets have gone to court on numerous occasions to try to win release of public records the governor and his administration have refused to disclose.

Judge Mary C. Jacobson is deciding whether to order Christie to turn over nearly $1 million in American Express bills racked up the governor’s state police security team. Christie’s office is arguing that records of those past expenses would reveal secrets that could put the governor at risk in the future.

“I’m not convinced it is essential to the governor’s security to withhold details,” said Jacobson during a hearing last month in Mercer County Superior Court.

Christie is also fighting the judge’s order to turn over a copy of a high-tech media list that his office assembled at taxpayers’ expense. The list is an integral cog in a publicly-funded publicity machine that launched him into the national spotlight and towards a probable run for the White House in 2016.

The Christie’s administration’s biggest secret may be its failure to fully investigate or pursue allegations of a $245,000 pension fraud that implicated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. The controversy began when Guadagno was Monmouth County sheriff in 2008, the year before she first ran for lieutenant governor as Christie’s running mate.

As sheriff, Guadagno allegedly made false and conflicting statements that enabled her chief officer, Michael Donovan, to improperly collect an $85,000 a year pension in addition to his $87,500 salary, as first reported by New Jersey Watchdog in 2010.

In May 2011, the attorney general’s Division of Criminal Justice began a criminal investigation at the request of a state pension board. But the probe was riddled by a major conflict of interest. Though Guadagno is a former deputy director of DCJ, Christie did not use his constitutional power to appoint a special investigator or independent prosecutor.

Stonewalled by DCJ and the governor’s office for nearly two years, New Jersey Watchdog sued the state in 2013 for records of the investigation and its outcome.

The investigative news site won a partial victory in the trial court last year when Jacobson ordered DCJ to reveal some of the documents it sought.

The disclosures showed that DCJ only generated six pages of investigative records before closing the case in June 2012. The probe appeared to be virtually non-existent; there were no records of interviews or statements from Guadagno or witnesses.

However, Jacobson also ruled DCJ was allowed to keep the findings of the investigation secret. After reviewing the documents in private, the judge determined the state’s interest in keeping the records confidential outweighed the public’s right to know.

New Jersey Watchdog appealed Jacobson’s decision to the State Appellate Division. A date for oral arguments has yet to be scheduled.

Other news organizations have had court battles over public records with the Christie administration. At one point last year, Christie’s administration was a defendant in roughly two dozen public records lawsuits in Mercer County Superior Court.

Meanwhile, after announcing his White House run on Tuesday, Christie travelled to New Hampshire for five days of campaign events. His schedule includes a “Telling it Like it Is” town hall meeting.

“I mean what I say and I say what I mean – and that’s what America needs right now,” said Christie.

The story is online at

Chris Christie Jumps Into the 2016 Presidential Race

If you haven't heard by now shortly after 11:30 this morning, New Jersey Governor (our governor) Chris Christie made it official and announce his intentions of seeking the 2016 GOP nomination for President.

All I have to say is good for him and good riddance if wins. But if he actually wins the presidency  and runs the country the way he has as governor of NJ - God help us, we'd be in a deep of sh*t as a nation.

In the meantime, it's one more clown for the already overcrowded clown car. I'm just telling it like it is...

Letter: An Autistic Man’s Perspective on the Moral/Ethical Drawbacks of the Trinity Hall School Project

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:

This essay is intended for those opposed to the Trinity Hall project. It is for those who can just feel “in their guts” that there is something ethically fishy about this whole thing, but who might have difficulty putting an articulate finger on it. Because I live on Sleepy Hollow road and would be drastically affected by the traffic nightmare that would be unleashed by Trinity Hall, I feel that this warrants me the right to comment on the overall issue of this impending fiasco. Since many others have already commented on the traffic and the blatant destruction of one of the few remaining gems of rural land in this area I will, instead, give my opinion on the moral and ethical foundations of the Trinity Hall project. If there is any one word that would sum up this` moral/ethical premise it would be “disingenuous.”

This disingenuousness has played out a number of times in the newspapers where, sometimes even in the same paper, there are articles about the terrible financial state of Catholic education found alongside puff pieces about Trinity Hall. One after another, Catholic schools ... REAL Catholic schools ... are closing because of inadequate funding. Parents and students are forced into do-or-die fund raising scenarios, practically becoming beggars to the general public. Because of Trinity Hall, the real Catholic Church, already trying hard to pay its bills, must now face the reality that a group of religious fakers could even make matters worse by siphoning off that much more money. The real Catholic Church is now sitting on acres of idyll school property, which could be pulled out of mothballs and made ready for true parochial education, for a fraction of the cost that would be required to deface one of the few remaining tracts of farmland in this whole area. The word that explains this paradox is the word “disingenuous”.

If those behind Trinity Hall were not disingenuous, they would come clean and just admit it that Trinity Hall does not really need the sanction of the real church because Trinity Hall is not intended for a real Catholic education. Trinity Hall is a country club finishing school for unsuspecting girls whose wealthy parents feel their daughters’ education must not be marred by the presents of kids of lower economic classes. Their educations must not be impeded by having to look at such ugly sights as highways and lower class neighborhoods, all of which they would be looking at if they accepted a school location provided by the real church. As well, a Trinity Hall girl’s education should not be impeded by the real Catholic Church’s pesky and obnoxious preoccupation with the poor and underprivileged. Of course, Trinity Hall will have to offer at least some scholarships to lower class girls, which means the campus will still have to tolerate the occasional Toyota wedged in between the Lexuses and Beemers.

So, how do disingenuous people latch on to the esteem of the Catholic Church? If you are a flim- flammer, you create a totally disingenuous marketing catch phrase such as... “in the Catholic tradition”. What “in the Catholic tradition” means is that it’s not really Catholic. It just looks Catholic for marketing purposes. If the Trinity Hall founders showed you a knock-off handbag that they got from Canal St., they would still expect you to swoon over it because, after all, it was made in the “Louis Vuitton tradition”.

Even though Bishop David O’Connell would not sanctioned Trinity Hall as a true Catholic institution, its origin certainly can be found in the Bible. It is the follow-up to the story of how Jesus purged the money changers from Herod’s temple. If you open the New Testament to John 2:13-16 you will see the following:

“And making a whip of cords, he [Jesus] drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade”.

It is important to note that both money changing and bird selling were legal practices, but they were considered disreputable. So, if you are a disreputable money-changer or bird seller and you want to deal inside the temple without having Jesus throw you out, what do you do? You do what the Trinity Hall people are trying to do right now. You build your own temple.

It is when fakers like these show themselves for what they are that the reality of their fakeness instills anger in those being manipulated. In the case of Trinity Hall it is the disparity between the lofty character and integrity building propaganda and the reality of their actual promotional technique. In the process of expediting its approval, the promoters of Trinity Hall have lied, manipulated, obfuscated, deceived, curried suspicious favor and otherwise produced a veritable cornucopia of soft-core fraudulence. The integrity of their technique now serves as the best testimony to their true character.

Trinity Hall, as I understand it, is mostly the creation of two families, whose mission is to create “designer education” for young girls, leaving no conscience obligation to consider anyone or anything. The Navesink/Chapel Hill area will be chronically gridlocked. Not their problem. The sewage system will be driven to over capacity. Not their problem. The environment will be permanently thrown out of kilter by this monstrosity. Not their problem. The quality of life in the entire area will be vastly diminished. Not their problem. Driving will increase on a road known to be deadly, thereby playing Russian roulette with the lives of citizens and students alike, but it’s not their problem.

By now the parents of Trinity Hall must be asking themselves, why is this particular piece of property so important? Why is this so important when, as cited by one of the school’s founders, there were twenty other locations (and all better suited) on which the school could be built? Why is this so important when the school’s construction could have been well under way by now, at one of these other locations? Why is this so important that it is being fervently and obsessively pursued in spite of a litany of dramatic drawbacks — dangerous and otherwise? As the founders have often replied, “we are committed to the address” and most importantly, “it was most convenient”.

The mothers and fathers of Trinity Hall need to have faith in their own daughters. They need to realize that in the end, their promising young women will flourish because of who they are, not because of where they are. This is something that has become horribly lost on the founders of Trinity Hall as their main goal now is to win a piece of property at all costs- even if that cost is the educational and spiritual well-being their own daughters. The school will be built by following a path of convenience and want, in lieu of walking in the footsteps of Christ.

If you want to know how a school should be established, you have to go no farther than the actions taken by Mater Dei High School. When they were notified that they were being closed due to lack of funds, within hours the students themselves organized the funding process to keep Mater Dei established. They then went to anyone who would listen ... friends, family, church officials, alumni and even total strangers to pitched their project. When whoever it was coined the expression “grass roots movement”, they could not possibly have been thinking of a situation better than this.

The Mater Dei students did everything from fundraisers, to “friend raisers”, to prayer meetings, and to anyone with half a chunk of faith, it looked as though God himself looked benevolently on their undertaking. Their success came from endless hours of hard work and the good will of legions of small people. Their combined efforts conveyed the unmistakable belief that the result was universally desired and their cause was undisputedly righteous.

Trinity Hall’s motto is probably what gives me the most reservations. On a large sign, fastened to the front of their current building, are the words... LEADERSHIP, RESPECT, PERSERVERENCE, FAITH. These are noble attributes to be sure, but we live every day with proof that there is no need whatsoever to destroy a neighborhood and the environment to get them. It is this proof that brings us right back to Mater Dei.

When Mater Dei students found that their school was going to be closed, it touched off a veritable explosion of leadership, respect, absolute perseverance and undisputable faith. I am sure that there is no sign on the front of Mater Dei that flaunts those words because none is needed. These words reverberate in the hearts and minds of every student at that school.

Trinity Hall’s motto simply highlights the impossible moral paradox it has created for itself: How do you build a school whose only real purpose is to flaunt how superior you are to everyone else, without losing the support that you must have from the same people who you just implied as inferior? You can’t. You can be as pushy and aggressive and sneaky and filthy rich as you want, and the peasants will still not support you. There is something else that you cannot do. Trinity Hall’s motto has the word “leadership” and the word “respect” and the word “perseverance” and the word “faith,” but the one word that is missing from this motto is the word “HONESTY”. You are not allowed to use this word. You do not deserve it.

Tony Sloan: peasant in revolt
Sleepy Hollow Rd., Middletown

Pallone Praises Proposal to Extend Overtime Pay for Millions of Americans

Good news for millions of Americas that work long hours with little to no extra compensation -MM

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) praised the Obama Administration’s announcement that the Department of Labor will propose extending overtime pay to nearly 5 million workers. The proposal would guarantee overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than an estimated $50,440 next year.

“If an employee works overtime they deserve to be justly compensated,” said Congressman Pallone. “The Administration’s proposal to raise the overtime threshold to better reflect current economic realities will bring an important measure of economic fairness to millions of Americans. I am pleased that the Administration heeded the call for this decisive action. It will bring us closer to an economy that works for all Americans – one that fairly pays workers for the work they do.”

When the proposal was in its final stages in April, Pallone wrote to the President Obama urging decisive action to significantly raise the income threshold for overtime pay, which currently stands at $23,600.

Pallone Announces Completion of Phase One of Port Monmouth Flood Control Project

LONG BRANCH, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced the completion of the first phase of the Port Monmouth Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project. This $18 million project will reduce the risks that coastal storms pose to residents and businesses in the Port Monmouth area. The project is federally funded through the Sandy relief package that Pallone fought for and helped to pass in Congress. For the announcement in Bayshore Waterfront Park, Congressman Pallone was joined by Colonel David Caldwell, Commander of the New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The Port Monmouth flood control project will protect homes and businesses in our area from future flooding,” said Congressman Pallone. “I have worked for years to bring this project to fruition, so I’m especially pleased to announce the completion of the critical first phase. Port Monmouth, like so many other coastal New Jersey communities, faced serious flooding during Hurricane Sandy. All along the Bayshore, flooding has become an increasingly common phenomenon as severe storms have become more frequent and residential and commercial development has increased. The project strengthens our local infrastructure, reduces the risk of future flood damage and will keep our community safe.”
The first phase of the project included dune restoration, beach replenishment, groin work, extension of the fishing pier, and construction of protective dunes. Pallone highlighted the fact that the project will address major flood prevention to protect the low-lying residential and commercial areas in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown Township.

The project’s second phase will include constructing a system of levees, a floodwall, a tide gate, road closure structures, road regarding and pump stations. The entire $105 million project will be funded by the Sandy relief package and will offer significant protection to the area, which has suffered frequent flooding, erosion and damage from rain and coastal storms in recent years. The Army Corps of Engineers expects to begin awarding contracts for the second phase in May 2016 so that construction for the full project could be completed by 2019.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

President Obama's Weekly Address 6/27/15: The Affordable Care Act is Here to Stay

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President called the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act a victory for hardworking Americans across the country, whose lives are more secure because of this law. The Affordable Care Act is working, and it is here to stay. So far more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage. Nearly one in three Americans who was uninsured a few years ago is insured today. The uninsured rate in America is the lowest since we began to keep such records. With this case behind us, the President reaffirmed his commitment to getting more people covered and making health care in America even better and more affordable.

Letter: Say No To Christie Bigotry With Glitter!

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:

Dear Editor,

Governor Chris Christie has crossed a final line in his attacks on various groups of people in New Jersey - his various targets have included school teachers, public employees, medical marijuana patients and he is now attacking the United States Supreme Court for supporting the simple right to marriage equality for the LGBT community, after he long blocked gay marriage in New Jersey.

The citizens of our state are truly a rainbow mosaic of diversity and Christie has shown his true colors to New Jersey. He is too extreme for our state and his staff have been criminally indicted for alleged corruption.

I encourage citizens in favor of LGBT equality to mail envelopes filled with glitter in celebration of gay marriage being legalized to: Governor Christie, PO Box 1, Trenton, NJ 08625

New Jersey, Say no to Christie bigotry with glitter!

Eric Hafner
Toms River, New Jersey

NJ Watchdog: Christie vetoes tax hikes as White House run nears

Preparing his run for the White House, Gov. Chris Christie polished his image as a tax-cutter Friday with a billion dollars’ worth of vetoes to the state budget passed by the New Jersey Legislature.

Politically, it was good timing for Christie, who plans to formally announce his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday at Livingston High School, his alma mater.

The governor vetoed a “millionaire’s tax” that would have raised an estimated $688 million, plus a one-year increase in the corporate tax to generate an additional $435 million. The Democratic-controlled Senate and Assembly sought those funds to help restore $1.8 billion Christie had slashed from next year’s annual pension contribution.

“If I had the money today to make the full pension payment, I would,” said Christie, speaking at a news conference. “We don’t – and I’m not going to raise taxes on all the people in New Jersey to benefit 625,000 (pensioners) in a system that’s completely broken.”

Christie also proposed a new tax break for lower-income families, increasing the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit to 30 percent of the federal credit. Democrats had approved a raise to 25 percent; the current EITC in New Jersey is 20 percent.

“I hope the legislature will concur quickly,” said the governor. “I want to cut taxes for everyone. The legislature won’t let me cut taxes for everyone, so now we’re going to cut taxes for the working poor in the state.”

At the news conference, Christie refused to discuss his upcoming campaign for president.

“I’m not here to talk about my political future,” he said. “We’ll have plenty of time to talk about my political future next week.”

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June 15, 2015 Middletown Township Committee Meeting

The Monday night, June 15th meeting of the Middletown Township Committee must have set a new record for it's brevity - from start to finish the meeting lasted less than 24 minutes. If you take out the time that it took to introduce the girls from Middletown South's girl softball team the meeting would have been shorter than the 17 minute Workshop meeting from earlier in the month.

Is this really the best way to inform the public of what goes on in this town? Is it not important to discuss business in public? Evidently so.

Here is a quick meeting summary:

- The Middletown High School South girls’ softball team and their coach were recognized for winning the 2015 NJSIAA Group III State Softball Championship.

- The minutes were adopted for various Township Committee meetings (regular and executive sessions) from January 4, 2015 to March 16, 2015.

- Two ordinances were introduced with public hearings to be held on July 20, 2015: 1) Ord. 2015-3142, proposed amendments to Chapter 16 Planning and Development Regulations to modify the mixed use (B-1A) zone to provide flexibility in residential density maximum thresholds; 2) Ord. 2015-3143, replacing ordinance 2014-3116 and amending/supplementing Section 257-86 of the Township Code. The Committee did not discuss either ordinance at all. Ord. 2015-3143 concerns the crosswalk at the MAC.

- The Committee adopted a consent agenda, including Resolutions 15-178 through 15-189. There was no discussion of Resolution 15-189, for which there was NO mention on the agenda handout at the meeting or the agenda then posted online.

- Bingo and raffle applications and volunteer firefighter applications were approved.

- The Committee adopted Resolution 15-177 authorizing payment of bills for June 15, 2015.

- Committee comments begin at time stamp 13:15.

- There were no public comments.

As always, you can download a copy of the Meeting Agenda that contains the discussion items and the proposed resolutions and ordinances that were voted on or presented during the meeting. A box around an item is a link, bringing you further into the document to that resolution or ordinance. At the end of the resolution there will be a link bringing you back to the agenda. Attached to this agenda is also the monthly bill list, so that everyone can see how the Township is spending our tax dollars.

Free Beach Parties

from Middletown Alerts:

Free! Ideal Beach Party – Friday, July 17th, 5:00 - 8:00pm

Free! Leonardo Beach Party – Friday, August 14th, 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Don’t miss these FREE family events filled with fun and games, music and dancing. A DJ will be on hand to provide the evening’s entertainment. Bring a beach chair or towel. Games, activities and prizes for all children. Watch the beautiful sunset overlooking the Sandy Hook Bay. Ideal Beach is located at Bayside Parkway. Leonardo Beach is located off Beach Avenue.