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Dhiren Shah

Editor's Note: 2/20/2014

Hello Readers, Kristopher_Seals

Hi. It's me again. Some people are going, "This is something different." Others are like, "Not him again." Remember, these are only my opinions, not edicts to live by. Calm down.

Newark politics were always a fight, both figuratively and literally. Recently, mayoral candidate Ras Baraka, who is also the South Ward's Councilman, had his campaign bus vandalized. No one was hurt, but this is nothing new. Campaign signs always get removed from where they are placed, and supporters always clash. That's just typical Brick City. The saying is, "Long as nobody gets shot." Then, it's pretty much anything goes.

Last week, Anibal Ramos and Darrin Sharif both dropped out of the mayoral race, on the same day. That smells fishy to me. Ramos and Shavar Jeffries, another candidate, had support from the same group of powerbrokers. Sharif and Jeffries also had some similar supporters. It appears to me that some big cats told Ramos and Sharif to stand down and make way for Jeffries.
Anyway, it's now a race between Jeffries and Baraka. There are some big questions for the two men. Can Shavar Jeffries lead Newark despite his lack of Brick City political experience? Can Ras Baraka get enough support from the corporate world to help advance Newark in the 21st Century? Last but not least, can either candidate finally put an end to the violence that has plagued Newark for years?

It seems that the "powers that be" have struck again and made their choices for you in regards to who is going to run, like a rigged primary or something. Speaking of which, I know that a whole bunch of people have signed up to run for council seats in Newark. Let me give you all a warning. There is a hidden structure in Newark politics, and you have to know it before you do anything. I know they may think, "I can make a difference. All I have to do is open the door." Sorry, but Newark doesn't work like that. Someone has to open the door for you, or you're not getting in. Simple.

You may be saying, "He doesn't know what he's talking about." Hey, I report this - and examine it - for a living. You're welcome to run, but don't be shocked if you spend thousands of dollars on a campaign that goes nowhere. Also, the aforementioned "powers that be" will dig up anything and everything on you to ruin your life and force you to drop out...or turn to their side. If they don't find anything, they'll make it up. Again, you're welcome to run, but be careful.

And now for some other things. I was a sports editor for a while, so let's talk about the sports scene. Knicks stink, Nets stink, Giants stink, Mets stink, the Olympics stink. Okay...Shabazz is dominating women's basketball, again. Jeter's retiring this year. The Slam Dunk contest had an ending like the last episode of "The Sopranos." Yeah, all of it pretty much stinks.

Speaking of the Olympics, have you seen the conditions in Sochi? Good grief! You can't touch the water, they have two toilets in one stall, food poisoning is rampant, Bob Costas got pink eye, and they were still doing construction while the event was underway! I hope Ellen Page goes over there and slaps Vladimir Putin! (After all, Russia LOVES gay people.)

As for the weather, it would appear that the excessive snowfall is finally over. There is nothing but snowbanks, hills, and mountains everywhere you look. In fact, it's gotten so bad that New Jersey's U.S. Senators had to lobby for more salt. Yes, salt. Some major towns actually ran out, and cars were left to figure skate on the roads. A triple axel may be good in Sochi, but not on Communipaw Avenue.
Hey! I have a great idea for all of this snow. We can use it to fill...all of the potholes! Relax, I'm just joking. No, really, I'm just joking. Don't go around putting snow in potholes. You'll only make them worse.

Have a nice week. Drive carefully.

Editor's Note: 2/13/2014

Hello Readers, DHIREN

Politics can make a U-turn at any time. That's why it's called politics. Newark politics as no exception. On Feb. 12, Anibal Ramos, once the front runner and first Hispanic candidate, dropped out of the mayoral race to focus on keeping his North Ward council seat. Hours later, Darrin Sharif dropped out of the mayoral race and will focus on keeping his Central Ward council seat. Sharif is dropping out due to lack of financial resources. I like his truthfulness.

Just like that, the tables have been turned. The democratic machine is behind Shavar Jeffries. Yes, he is a newcomer in the field. Ras Baraka has managed the Central School very successfully. But, there's a huge difference between one school and the entire city. Ras has grassroots support. However, only time will tell how many people truly believe in him.

Jeffries is now joining hands with Ramos, the former front runner, and has support from Joseph DiVincenzo and Steve Adubato, Sr. Some of the unions had already given their support Anibal Ramos for mayor. Now, it is in their hands to work with the remaining two candidates, Shavar Jeffries and Ras Baraka.

Baraka has the support of democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono, but she is an outsider who does not have much impact with the voters of Newark. The biggest support for Baraka is former mayor Sharpe James. But he has been out of politics for a long time now, so his impact might be questionable. It is up to the voters who they want as their mayor, and who will really work for Newark, and who will keep the same policies and if Newark remains the same. It is up to the people who will decide. In politics, nothing is definite until it happens. So let's wait and watch.

Newark Police Director Sam DeMaio has stepped down, and for the first time, a woman officer will be at the helm of the Newark Police Department. Sheilah Coley has been promoted from Police Chief to Acting Director, and will become the full time Director upon DeMaio's retirement. Also, due to the many problems within the police department, there will be a federal monitor overlooking the activities of the Department. Once the federal government is in, it is very tough to get them out.

I received many calls about the derailment of a New Jersey Transit train a little ways west of the Orange train station in Orange, NJ. It was not a major incident and no one got hurt. However, there were about 150 passengers on the train, and if is horrifying to imagine a mishap for them. NJTransit should make sure with the icy conditions and any other conditions that their trains are safe. We know about the recent incident in New York and a six-car derailment in Jacksonville, Florida on February 11, 2014.

Derek Jeter, the Yankees captain and favorite sportsman for millions, and whose parents are residents of West Orange, will retire after the 2014 season. Many will miss his excellence and all round baseball play for years to come. He will be a hall of famer, and he is charm to many, especially the ladies.

We all knew ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin from how he dealt with Hurricane Katrina. His plea for help got national and international attention for New Orleans' residents. Nagin was found guilty on 20 charges out of 21 charges for money laundering, fraud and filing false tax returns, according to the US Attorney's office. Also, Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was also found guilty on several charges. So today's big names might be nobodies for tomorrow.

And last but not least, another snowstorm is coming our way on Feb. 13. So far, the storm has disrupted life in Atlanta and other southern states. They are not equipped for snowstorm like we are, and they are not used to it. Within a few weeks, they have seen two large storms in Atlanta and the surrounding region.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

Editor's Note: 1/23/2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

Governor Chris Christie was sworn in as Governor for his second term on Tuesday, Jan. 21. A month ago, he was very popular governor amongst New Jersey voters. However, his bag of problems started with the accusation of mishandling and taking advantage of power in the Bridge Gate scandal. He claims that he has not knowledge about it. However, as I have mentioned in my last editorial, he had doubt and did not inquire more due to his close allies. The Bridge Gate scandal continues while two other allegations that came to the limelight.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said that her city's Sandy money was linked to the support of a development deal by the Christie administration. According to the CNN news, "This project is really important to the governor," Mayor Dawn Zimmer said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, recounting what she said she was told in May by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. "And she said that ... this was a direct message from the governor."

Guadagno denied the accusation of bullying Hoboken Mayor Zimmer and the town of Hoboken. The scandal continues, as Christie takes the office for the second time with his approval rating sliding.
I did not understand not accepting the accusation of making deals. That has been going on in each and every level of the government's elected houses. That happens in the local city halls, county house of freeholders, state house of assembly and senate and federal level congress and senate. In the name of people, all of the people representatives are making deals, obviously in their favor. The better deal makes a better politician in the political world. The politicians have an art, without clearly stating they make the deals.

The winter storm disrupted the life of people on Tuesday. Many offices were closed early due to fear of the worst conditions. In the city of Orange, I have travelled a few streets, and they have done a commendable job to clean the main roads, including Main Street. I have not visited the side streets. The county government has also done an excellent job as far as street cleaning is concerned. In Newark we received complaints of not cleaning, plowing or salting on even the main/sub-main roads, or a lousy job of it. However they have plowed the snow in the noon time pretty nice.

There was a broad daylight shooting in Newark, right on Springfield Avenue. What's happening? The problem is not the shooting, but the problem is between those with fear and those who are fearless. One group is getting fearless, and the community is getting fearful. Something must be done about this.

The Super Bowl is right around the corner. Very few people are talking about it, because the game became business and entertainment for money people The organizers are busy entertaining money people and forgetting about the community throughout New Jersey. New Yorkers and Governor Christie's close allies are handling the 1 to 1.5 billion dollar business. They are offering some low category jobs to local people, but the majority of management jobs went to their buddies, as I heard. There should be momentum to bring more of the super bowl here in New Jersey. That is missing. Also both the local teams were out early in the regular season, so it did not bring the same momentum the organizers were hoping for.

According to NBC news, "The United States Olympic team and at least five other national delegations have received messages making terrorist threats ahead of the Winter Games, adding to mounting security fears two weeks before competition begins." The International Olympic Committee told NBC News on Wednesday Jan. 22 that it did not consider the threat credible and said that it appeared to be "a random message from a member of the public." Vladimir Putin said that the threat is not serious, but they will do the utmost to protect all of the Olympians.

As I've heard, Orange's council is trying to move its May elections to November. I tried to contact some council people, but had to leave some messages. It will be discussed next week in the council meeting. I don't know what the laws are, and what the benefits will be for the community. We will have more on this next week.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

Editor's Note: 1/16/2014

Hello Readers, DHIREN

According to CNN, "The former New York City police officers and firefighters were supposed to be fully disabled - some suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the 9/11 terrorist attacks - images in court documents released Tuesday painted a starkly different picture...They are among the more than 100 retired New York City police and firefighters indicted in a massive Social Security disability scam involving hundreds of millions of dollars, authorities said. More than half the recipients received funds for fraudulent claims for PTSD in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center."

They have all worked after 9/11, some as gym instructors, some as private security guards, and they have all been coached to fake disability. Some of the retired officers retained their gun permits. Retired officers cannot possess guns if they are being treated for stress. Investigators have proof by was of photographs, videos and much more evidence.

According to the Chicago Tribune, President Barack Obama lacked belief in his administration's policy toward the war in Afghanistan and was skeptical it would even succeed, his former defense secretary, Robert Gates, writes in a memoir to be published next week. Obama doubted his own policy after he decided to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan early in his first term, Gates wrote that the president became "skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail," a stance that Gates says led him to consider resigning in September 2009. According to the Washington Post, Gates wrote that Obama "doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out."

Despite this, Obama helped to improve the economy since he took office in 2007. However, the economy for the middle class and especially people living in struggling cities all over the United States has not been improved.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has goofed up big time. Four weeks before the outburst of his possible involvement in Bridgegate scandal, he had an opportunity to make it right. That time he called in his closest aides, staff, and his chief of staff and took their interviews to see if anyone was involved with the George Washington Bridge scandal. Obviously, at first instance, everyone would have said no due to human nature. He stopped the inquiry and with a big bang said in public that neither his staff nor he had knowledge about it and did not have any involvement. He could have started an internal inquiry. That shows that he had doubt, and as a manager he trusted fully of his staff and advisors. He failed to recognize the person and that's not management or leadership. I have mentioned in my editorial before that in India there was a railway accident, and then Railway Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri (later Prime Minister of India) resigned, taking the responsibility on him. People loved him until he "mysteriously" died in Russia, when the peace talks between India and Pakistan were going on that week. I think Governor Christie should resign, because he lost the faith and trust of the people.

The first Super Bowl in our area is only 18 days away. They have sold all of the tickets, and scalpers are asking very high money. Under Governor Christie, there is no room for smaller businesses. All the large deals are for the big businesses for Governor Christie. The majority of advertisements for the Super Bowl are going to New York, and some to media that supports him like NJ 101.5 and of course the Star-Ledger. He is not for the common man. Even at his press conference, he allowed only big media to ask questions, because he loves publicity. I understand that he cannot oversee everything, but he can make policies which give a boost to smaller businesses in the state, and make sure that his staff and concerned departments are following the rules. Also, it is very important that the smaller companies and businesses get help immediately from the departments. Every day, new and complicated laws makes it harder for smaller businesses to survive and deal with the government and ridiculous laws.

Another school shooting took place in New Mexico on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. Such shootings has become common in the United States since the April 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. We also remember the schoolyard shooting in Newark. Since 2012, it's getting worse. We should not blame only the government or the police department, as morality has gone down in our society. We are all somewhat responsible for today's tough world. Today, the majority of people want more money and less work, taking advantage of opportunities which includes major corporations like Verizon, Comcast, JCP&L and car dealerships. Also, some nonprofit organizations make more profit and pay seven figure salaries and high bonuses to their CEOs and executives.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

Editor's Note: 1/9/2014

Hello Readers,

Happy New Year to all of our readers. I wish everyone the best of 2014. For the first time ever, all 50 states had at least one town with a temperature at 32 degrees or lower.

However, what you call the "best" is a big question on many minds. Is making lots of money best? Is getting the best life partner best? Is getting promoted best? Is passing with the top grade best? The best is all about perception. What you think according to your circumstances and your needs is the best thing. However, it will bring joy and happiness temporarily. Peace of mind is key, but we do not get it all the time. Peace of mind is also a perception. So bring peace in life, and do not expect anything when you do something for others or give something to your dear ones, including from God. That may bring some peace to your mind in my opinion.

The senate has voted to extend the unemployment benefits, which will cost $6.5 billion under one proposal. In 2008, President Bush signed the law that gives the unemployment benefit for another 28 additional weeks when the state unemployment benefit expires. Right now in New Jersey, it's been a total of 63 weeks where a person could get the unemployment benefit (26 weeks state unemployment and 37 weeks emergency unemployment benefit) The senate has already missed one week, and the state will be affected by an estimated $400 million revenue, as the unemployment benefits immediately come to the circulation for economic growth.

The unemployment benefit is not free money. That is your right, and your company and you have paid unemployment insurance so at a time of need, you can survive day to day in a routine life with basic needs. However, long term unemployment benefit means it will go from the taxpayer's pocket. Some recipients are taking advantage of the system and become lazy, not even looking for work. Taxpayer dollars are being spent left and right without hesitation. Is there any cure for the system?

I have a suggestion. There should be a law that reduces the unemployment after a certain number of weeks. As for example, in the first 26 weeks the way system is now, give the full unemployment benefit as it stands right now. After 26 weeks, reduce it to 75% of the benefit, and after 52 weeks, let them receive 50% of the benefit. There are some real unemployed who are looking for job, but they are really not getting it and they do deserve full benefits. However, there are some that do not try hard and want to take advantage of long term unemployment. So, as per my suggestion, it will put pressure on the unemployed candidates to start looking for jobs seriously. I think there are many job openings, but you have to work hard and show the employer that you are serious and are an asset for his/her company.

The Secretary of State said that the peace talks between Israel and Palestine have some hope for a successful peace treaty. I have visited with 120 members, including Martin Luther King III, to Israel in 2007 as an Ambassador of Peace to find out the facts between Israel and Palestine. The Palestinians lived there and that used to be called Palestine. The Israelis lived there before the birth of Christ. A long history and long fight has been going on for more than a thousand years. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Israelis contacted France and got support, but it was not enough. Since 1967, the United States of America started helping the Jews, who control Israel right now. The U.S. is giving $3 billion every year for weapons and approximately 4 to 5 billion to help businesses and in other ways. Israel is a small country, but I found it to be safe, as their security procedure is very effective. The Israelis knows how to utilize money, and they have made a heaven in the desert. Palestine is divided into two parts, the Gaza strip and Bethlehem area, where the Church of Nativity is located. The minds are set in both countries, and it is very difficult to settle. The United Nations has made a plan for two separate states, one for Jews and the other for Arabs who live in Palestine. The plan was adopted as a resolution in 1947. It was not accepted by the ruling Palestinians, and in 1948 the civil war started. For peace between the two states, there should be an exceptionally neutral and very effective world leader. But I don't see any world leader right now who can solve the problem.

Arnold Schwarzenegger successfully ran for governor of California, but unsuccessful handled its economy. Now, another successful actor, Steven Seagal, is thinking to run for Arizona Governor. Seagal is the self-proclaimed toughest Sheriff in America, according to Politico.
Senator Cory Booker will run for the Democratic Primary on June 3, 2014 and the general election - if he wins the primary - on November 4, 2014.

Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next week.

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