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Opinion

Editor's Note: 7/17//2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

Israel and Hamas (Part of Palestinian State) have an air war going on. Israelis gave warnings to residents to leave before 8 am on Wednesday to leave their homes. Around 100,000 Palestinians live in the surrounding Beit Lahiya area in the Gaza Strip. According to Israeli officials, the rockets were launched at them from the Beit Lahiya area. Many Palestinians fled their homes. While I disagree with the violence, it seems that when it comes to war and defending the people of a country, everything is considered fair. Israel is a strong ally of the United States, and over the years, they have been equipped with latest war arsenal.

According to Wall Street Journal, 'Senate Democrats' effort to push back against the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision stalled Wednesday when their bill to restore employers' responsibility to provide contraception coverage under the health law was defeated on a procedural vote. In a 56-43 vote, which was largely along party lines, Democrats came up short of the 60 votes needed to advance their legislation. It sought to prevent companies from relying on a religious-freedom law to avoid complying with the Affordable Care Act's requirement to cover all forms of contraception approved by the government without charging workers a copayment.

I don't know what will be the eventual impact of the decision by the Supreme Court. However, it will be a huge hurdle for the success of the affordable health care act known as Obamacare. Obama could be remembered for centuries for his bold step towards passing the health care act. However, as of today, all of the political forces are against him and making his job very hard.

California's death penalty has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. According to Daily News, 'Ruling in a case brought against the warden of San Quentin state prison by Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was condemned in 1994, Carney called the death penalty an empty promise.' Due to delays, death row inmates have been waiting for over 10 years.

The University of Buffalo paid $275,000 for a speech by Hillary Clinton, which is over $2,700 per minute in pay. It is outrageous. Also, Hillary did not allow the audience to ask questions, except a handpicked moderator. Also, she did not allow anyone on the stage. She will be delivering another high priced speech in August 2014 at the University of Nevada. Maybe it is legal, but unethical. These high priced speech contracts may be about the connections and fame.

The middle class is disappearing from the United States. The working middle class and working poor class are suffering. How long will this continue? The politicians are not interested in protecting our middle class, but to gain their control over the poor class, and the majority of the money goes to the rich class. The rich are getting richer and the middle class are entering into the poor class. Mom and pop stores are disappearing as well. Instead, large franchise stores are taking their place. Money is rotating with the large, powerful and government officials only. We can see the majority of the construction going around for government or government affiliates and large developers or corporations. The rest of the business is going away to countries like China, Philippines, Korea and many other Asian countries. India is still holding a large portion of the IT business.

Bush's administration moved US money to Iraq to get contracts for his buddies. The Iraq War was pushed by Bush stating the statement by a 7 year old girl. Obama's administration is asking for large sums of money in the name of humanitarian concerns for people crossing and trying to enter the US illegally. Who will get awards for these large contracts from our tax dollars?!

The Dow reached a record high of 17,138. The future is good, but at the local level we do not see the results. We need results in our area, and the elected officials are not pushing hard to get the money and transformation we need at the local level. Now it's time that when the politicians fail, we the people have to get together and elect those who work for the people. Ras Baraka is officially Newark's Mayor, and I hope he can deliver what he has promised, which is to be that leader who will work for the people. He will have a lot of roadblocks, as the money and powerful people are united and will work against him. They want him to fail, so they can have their power back in the state's largest city.

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

Editor's Note: 7/10//2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

Pope Francis met with sex abuse victims, talked about forgiving the abusers of their sins and promised zero tolerance. However, that is for the future, and not what has been done in the past. According to the Boston Globe, 'Critics, however, charge that the Church has failed to release the names of the priests defrocked or those currently being investigated.' Also, by forgiving those who are involved in sexual abuse is not highly great for the religion. This is not a question only for victims and their families, but also about the faith, when the wrong thing can be forgiven due to power. Even though those involved may lose their prayer rights and religious rights, how can someone else possibly believe in that religion?

In Chicago, the 4th of July weekend was horrible. There were 82 shots fired during that weekend, and 15 lost their lives. Meanwhile, New York City has seen an uptick in crime. However, the police spokesman chose to speak about the city having the fewest murders since 1963. It is like bragging in the worst situation, all while insulting those who have lost their loved ones. Obviously, some of the laws restrict the police department from certain searches and eventually, those suspects commit crimes and the blame goes back to the police department.

Hamas fired rockets at southern Israel towns. Israel also fired rockets at the Gaza Strip. Who is right and who is wrong is the question. Palestinians want Israeli authorities to condemn those Israelis who killed young Palestinians, and vice versa. The hate and crime atmosphere has been going on for over a thousand years.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, 'More than a year and a half after Washington voters approved the recreational use of marijuana, the northwestern state on Monday issued the first licenses to grow, process, and sell the drug, making it available to consumers as early as Tuesday.' New York State also approved medical marijuana like in New Jersey. In total 23 states have approved medical marijuana, and 4 states have pending resolutions. After Colorado, Washington is the second state to approve recreational marijuana. This is all about money in my opinion. States charge hefty money, and it is very easy to raise money for the states. First it was cigarettes, then the lottery, the gambling industry, and now marijuana has become a drug industry. However, while the majority of the states charge hefty money, but some states do not charge any fees. The state of Oregon is charging $200 plus against allowing 24 oz. usable and 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature).

Former Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin became famous nationally and internationally at the time of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He was apprehended for money laundering for hundreds of thousands of dollars from a businessman, who wanted work from the city. On July 9, 2014, Nagin was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He persistently denied any corruption, but it was proven in the court of law that he is guilty. Money and power can create a monster, and waste a bright mind by pushing it in the wrong direction.

According to CNN, 'Sen. Robert Menendez, who has been dogged by a federal corruption probe, suggests he was the target of a Cuban intelligence smear plot over allegations -- which the FBI has discounted - that he had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.' If this is true, than Menendez should resign immediately. Under U.S. laws, sex by an adult with anyone under 18 is considered as rape. I don't know about the Dominican Republic laws. The U.S. must investigate this kind of accusation thoroughly, because if it is not true, then the image of the U.S. should not be smeared in the world.

New Jersey Transit has not raised its fares for the fifth consecutive year. The $2 billion budget has had no hikes since 2010. Also, NJ Transit approved a $1.2 billion program for capital improvement. That includes $180 million for infrastructure improvements. Out of $1.2 billion, $700 million will come from Federal sources. This is a good sign for the riders. At least for another year, they don't have to adjust their budget in these hard economic times.

The tri-state area was hit by a storm on Tuesday evening. Nowadays, we do not follow warnings due to many wrong predictions. However, Accu-Weather gives warnings according to their readings and predictions. That night, a severe thunderstorm hit part of New York State. Four people died in a tornado, and one child died in Maryland due to a tree falling. We all should take warnings seriously and follow the instructions of the authorities. If we follow, that is prevention, and if we don't and something happens, it is sorrow.

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

Editor's Note: 7/3//2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

The wrong tradition has been set when it comes to elections since the entrance of Michael Bloomberg into the political world. Money can buy anyone...as it is has been proven. The winning stories of Michael Bloomberg, Jon Corzine and Cory Booker are the perfect example. Even a smaller city like Orange, whose mayor makes only $25,000 per year or $100,000 for the entire term of 4 years, $200,000 was spent in the last election. Irvington's mayor-elect had a fundraiser right before he was sworn into office, even though the election was over. People donated money due to his power as mayor.

In Newark's Mayoral election, Shavar Jeffries raised almost $1 million and spent most of the money in the New York Media. Cory Booker, a smart U.S. Senator, knows how to raise money and bring developers to wherever he goes. But in all these money raising races between all of the election, the politicians win and the people lose. Finally, it comes out of the people's pockets through taxes.

I've heard many times politicians say that it doesn't come out of taxpayers' pocket. I have a question for the though...where did it came from? The federal and state government's money is taxpayer money. Many programs that are run under the federal and state government are also taxpayer money. The majority of the money people who donate ask for favors, like getting a contract, and laws being passed to increase their profits from their clients, and unions getting a raise on their salaries or benefits. All of it comes out of taxpayers' pockets.

First time I am impressed by Ras Baraka when I took his interview as a mayoral candidate. I felt that he is a people's person and bold opinionated personality like his father. Local Talk was glad to support him. Finally a people's person has been elected. I was waiting for his opening speech as a mayor of Newark. He delivered the speech and I applaud his speech, as it was full of truth and prerogative speech as a politician. The speech is like one of the national leader, not the power leader, has delivered a speech to energize the people.

East Orange Mayor Taylor has appointed Dwight Saunders as director of Property Maintenance. With the help of the Police and Public Works Departments, he is successful in reducing dumping by the people and businesses, as I've heard from East Orange residents. They told me that Saunders, who worked in the army as a captain, took his job seriously and those who did not follow, he did not hesitate to fine them. I am looking for a good outcome out of this department. Even Orange has started to follow in those footsteps.

I would like the other mayors and leaders to be strict on their employees who do not follow the system as well, especially on employees who are harsh to the taxpayers that come for the city services. The citizens are taxpayers and should be treated fairly.

According to Wall Street Journal, "A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that Illinois home-based care workers can't be forced to pay dues to a union they don't want to join." It shows that the judges on the Supreme Court are not biased and protected our rights of freedom.

New York has had 21 shootings, 4 deaths and 19 injured in the past weekend. Why in the world is the police director talking about reduced crime at this juncture?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks about nonpartisan achievement under his regime. When it comes to protecting his rich buddies, nonpartisan has non-value for Christie. He vetoed the Democrats proposal to reinstate earned income tax credit, and opted to keep tax breaks for millionaires, with an excuse that large businesses might run away from New Jersey.

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

Editor's Note: 6/24/2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

The biggest local story this week is that Orange High School's computers were hacked by a student. Fifteen students were suspended, with records of test scores and attendance changed. One student was apprehended for stealing a password and going into the system. However, based on our sources, the incident occurred back in October 2013. Why do these kinds of records not have a more secured password system? If staff members want to go into the system, there should be an easy way, but when they want to change any information, there must be very tough protection, such as an additional password and one supervisor has to approve it. That way, there is a record that the data input has taken place.

This was not done by the Orange School Board, which is known for their political platform. The board members are selected by the mayor of the township. Patricia A. Arthur - President, Franklyn Ore - Vice President, Marion Graves-Jackson, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Emily Jukes, Daniela Small-Bailey are the board members of the Orange Board of Education. All Board members were liaisons for the Orange High School when the incident(s) occurred.

The members of the Disciplinary Hearing Committees were from: September 13 to November 13 were Patricia Arthur, Thomas Johnson, Franklyn Ore; from December 13 to February 14 were Emily Jukes, Marion Graves-Jackson, Arthur Griffa, Franklyn Ore and from March thru May 2014 were Arthur Griffa, Daniela Small-Bailey, Thomas Johnson, Patricia Arthur.

Some members were holding these seats for a long time. The new generation should take over the board, like it did when Monique Van Wells took over as President of the board and shook up the department by pressurizing the system. Then-superintendent Dr. Parker moved to Summit. Mr. Vernon Pullins Jr. is a supervisor of students support services, which is a huge responsibility at this juncture.

Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka will be sworn in on July 1, 2014 outside the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the event is open to the public. It will be interesting to see if Mayor Baraka does what he has promised to the people, and that he really becomes a people's mayor rather than a politician's mayor. It's a transitional time, so we do not know about the future, but time will tell the truth.

Newark Public Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson's contract expires on June 30, 2014. Her One Newark plan has been opposed by the majority of the students, parents, unions, teachers and Newark's leaders. Anderson was appointed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Even after the court decision in favor of the Newark School Board, the NPS is an over $1 billion a year money giant that the governor and Republicans do not want sliding from their control, so they might give a short extension to Anderson.

In February 2013 the New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced the indictment of two top officials of the East Orange Water Commission (EOWC) - Harry L. Mansmann, 58, of Lawrenceville - the executive director and William Mowell, 51, of Wyckoff - the assistant executive director - for allegedly conspiring to manipulate the agency's water supply by shutting down contaminated wells prior to monthly water tests so as to falsify results and report lower levels of a regulated contaminant in the drinking water supplied to customers. Mansmann died on March 24, 2014. The Attorney General dropped the charges on March 28, 2014. However, the case against William Mowell still goes on.

House Majority Leader John Boehner has announced plans to sue President Obama for use of executive actions. Boehner said it wasn't about trying to impeach Obama, but that it was about, "This is about faithfully executing the laws of our country." Obama has made more executive decisions lately as he has declared this year a "Year of Action." The Republican Party has been more inclined to take actions against Democrats, as the 2016 Presidential Election is virtually up for grabs.

There have been more incidents in Nigeria. One bombing took the lives of 8 and injured 12. Another bombing took the lives of 21 people, injuring 17. Boko Haram is suspected in both. The group is also behind another kidnapping, with girls and even boys this time. If President Goodluck Jonathan doesn't do something soon, he might have a full coup on his hands.

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

Editor's Note: 6/19/2014

DHIRENHello Readers,

For some, Father's Day was horrible this year. On that day, a fire in Newark took the lives of six persons. It was news that was shocking to hear and watch. Local Talk's staff and myself pray for the souls of those six persons and give condolences to their family members and friends.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office did not give a clear indication of the true cause of the fire. It was accelerated by plastic flowers decorating the home, and it started on the porch. The fire affected the neighboring house, but all of the residents there survived without injury. A smoke detector could have saved all of the lives. Also, a 54-year-old firefighter died in Union Beach on June 8, 2014. So right now, I appeal to all of the readers to check their smoke detectors, and especially the batteries.

I talked to many people in and around the community. Lately, people feel that Barack Obama is not doing a great job, especially where foreign policies are concerned. According to Christian Science Monitor, "Gulf donors who backed rival militants in Syria's civil war are being drawn to ISIS by its success in Iraq, whose government accuses Saudi Arabia of supporting a Sunni rebellion." Lately, the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, the Nigeria bombing, Israel and Palestinian conflicts, and many more countries have problems. The control is getting out of control.

Since the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the U.S. has one more thing to worry about. India has always stayed friends with Russia, except for a few years when former Prime Ministers (late) Morarji Desai and (late) Atal Bihari Vajpayee. India did not get much help over the years from Russia. I hope Modi becomes wiser, forgets about his VISA saga (he did not get approval of a VISA even though he was chief minister, which is like a governor) of the Indian State Gujarat. The alarming worry is that of Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. China has shown its growth in the last couple of decades.

China has controlled a growing population by enforcing their one child per family rule with hefty taxes for those with more than one child. China's population is being controlled. India's economy is changing from a savings economy to a little bit of a spending economy. All of a sudden, the demand for products is there compared to gross domestic products. So, if these two countries get together, in 10 years' time, the U.S. may no longer be the premiere superpower, but just another one.

The U.S. must act fast to control the debt problem. Also, the infrastructure may be hurt due to over-politicized policies. The urgent need of control concerns the middle class and working poor class. The immigration policy should also be prioritized. Another key factor is education. The U.S. is far behind the world as 29 countries score higher than the U.S. in Math, and 22 countries scores higher in Science. The U.S. spends the most money in education, but the results are poor. Obama has tried through Michele Obama to energize the education system, but it did not produce a very good result, yet.

Essex County is going through a technology renovation. According to reports, $6.5 million will change the look and performance of Essex County College. Under the leadership of Joseph DiVincenzo, the federal and state governments are easily offering grants to Essex County. His performance of changing the facilities in a timely manner is impeccable.
We do need advancement of technology. The world is growing fast, and the shift from local business to global business is becoming a reality. The way we did business is changing and we must change with time.

Children can handle computers faster and better than most of the adults. Things from shopping to getting information is easier now through computers, cell phones, and tablets. Social networks are growing faster than ever before. From Facebook to Twitter to WhatsApp, everyone is using them every day. We feel like they are free, but they make millions, even billions. How? That's a question for me too. They monopolize the way people live their lives.

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

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