Tag Archives: New Jersey

Plastic Bags

New Jersey instituted its single use plastic bag ban on 4 May. While the state government passed the law restricting my consumer options (and for that deserves criticisim), the plea to do so came not from environmental groups but rather from retailers. Grocery stores can save lots of money if they do not “give away” bags to customers. Retailers lobbied the state government for this ban.

As one who cherishes freedom, I am not in favor of this legislation.

On a practical note, the ban doesn’t serve its purpose from government’s point of view. It argues the environmental impact of single use bags. We have all seen, I suspect, a bag here or there blowing in the wind. Obviously, I do not condone that.

I along with everyone else I know, however, do not use these bags singularly. Teachers brings their lunches to school in these bags. Filing cabinets are stuffed with them for crafts, etc.

Look in one’s closets and you’ll see “single use” bags being used for all sorts of things.

I have received packages that have used plastic bags as the insulation.

For me, I made living decisions based on “single use” plastic bags. All m trashcans are bathroom size. I use these bags as the liner for the trashcans. This is primarily the one in the kitchen as the bathroom trashcan rarely has trash (save when Beetle visits).

Now with my supply of bags curtailed, I am on limited time before I have to purchase plastic bags for my trashcans in order to dispose of garbage. That seems nonsensical. It also seems counter to the purpose of this law. But I don’t have a problem with purchasing that which I use, so I will.

It’s not a winning argument, I understand. Me, just a consumer and taxpayer, has no power in this decision. I just am the one who has to live with the decision.

It already has had positive consequences for me. When I learned this ban also includes convenience stores, well, I guess that will keep me from visiting there. I am not going to bring in cloth bag to buy a hoagie and a soda. Same thing at the local deli. It’s all good as I should not frequent those places to begin with. The lack of a bag is enough of an inconvenience to help me remember I won’t shop in those places. Add to that Target and Walmart, and all of a sudden, not only will the bags be reduced, so will my consumption.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Times change. Someone mentioned her crystals to me. I had a flashback to my college days when I thought crystals were so kewl that I gifted them to people. Yikes! . . . I contacted a company recently regarding the quality of linens I had purchased. The replaced a couple items free of charge. Yeah! Since then I have been inundated with promotional e-mails. Just received one titled: URGENT: Bath essentials are almost gone. Really? That’s urgent? I will no long receive e-mail from this company 😉 . . .This should be a time of excitement as baseball is in spring training. Once again greed as to how to split billions of dollars leaves the fans with nothing. MLB has lost my interest. Sure, I’ll watch a game here or there, but the league has finally broken my spirit . . . Irony: watching decluttering/minimalism videos and getting ads for buying crap at Hobby Lobby . . . Hey, as you pay your New Jersey income taxes, remember that you are paying for potholes that were filled during Gov. Corzine’s reign (2006-10) . . . Why I no longer have expectations. In September I was told there were Owens family photographs at the house that I left when I moved out. I said I would take them even though I am doubtful there is not anything I already scanned. Six months later nothing has ever been provided. If I had expected them, I would be frustrated . . . Turned on the air conditioner this afternoon. It is warm here . . .

I Voted

21-11-02 I Voted

New Jersey, along with Virginia, has the first test of a new president with its gubernatorial election the year following the presidential election. Here in Democrat country, Phil Murphy’s re-election is almost guaranteed.

I began my day by voting. We have a new process this year. This will need an overhaul.

There are two polling areas in the same place. It was unclear which one I was to go to. We figured it out and thus began the lengthy process. I was the only voter at the time. First I had to sign in. Gone are the books with a copy of my signature to sign next to. I signed on a tablet. That went okay save the guy working it didn’t know how to call me up.

Once signed, a credit card-type thing was registered with my credentials. I then had to sign the old style ballot paper.

I took the credit card to the booth. The booths are no longer enclosed. I sat down at a computer screen, inserted my card, and then voted. The screen is big and easy to sign what needs to be seen.

All the while a pollster walked behind me. He wasn’t peeking at my ballot (I don’t think). I think he was ensuring I had no issues. Even so, all my votes were on screen.

Eventually I was done. At that point the voter prints his ballot. It is a lengthy process to print. Out came a huge piece of paper. It seemed larger that a 17″ piece. The pollster took the ballot and placed inside a cardboard cover. At that point he could have seen my vote.

Then I had to walk my ballot that was inside the cardboard to a lady at another device that looked like a printer but was a scanner. She had great trouble feeding my ballot into this device. Two other people came over. Eventually, my ballot was removed from the cardboard to hand feed into the scanner. All my votes were clearly visible at that point.

Again, I don’t think anyone was trying to see my votes, but at several places the votes were visible.

This process seems exceedingly cumbersome. And an extreme waste of paper. And lengthy. I can’t imagine how backed up polling places will be when there is a crowd. This was close to a 10-minute process and I was the only one voting.

The machines were created by Dominon as their name is prominently displayed.

More work needs to be made to make this a better process. I never had a problem with the old system, but I suppose this will eventually be better. Maybe.

The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?

The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? by Dale Russakoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Yes, I am the target audience for this book. Russakoff did an excellent job of telling the story of Newark Public Schools, Mark Zuckerberg’s money, the relationship of Chris Christie and Cory Booker, and what actually happens to $200 million in government. Russakoff tells the story in such a graceful manner. There is no equivocating in her story. I loved her writing.

Spoiler alert: $200 million does not flow into the classrooms; rather consultants tied to the power brokers and teacher contracts soak up reform money. The balance basically went to charters.

This was an expensive lesson for the young billionaire.

View all my reviews

Christie Wants to Hand Over $80B to the Unions

Christie is trying to sound reasonable. Get government out of the money management business. Why? Because government sucks at it. No argument there.

The solution? Give control of the $80 billion fund to the unions.


So here I am a regular Joe who made the decision to be a public employee. I am forced to join a union to work. The union takes ~$1,200 annually from me (and another $1,200 from my wife). Now the governor wants that same corrupt entity to manage my retirement funds.

Yeah, I’m not going to support this move.

Bob Andrzejcak Gets the Van Drew Treatment

Bob Andrzejcak Political Flyer

It’s political season again. Nelson Albano trots out his dead son (check his Facebook page). Bob Andrzejcak has joined Team Van Drew. From all accounts, Andrzejcak seems like a nice enough fellow. He fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. He lost his leg.

Of course, Team Van Drew puts that up front and center because . . . well, that is important for the citizen to vote for him. Maybe the next photograph could be Bob Andrzejcak’s leg at Michael Albano’s grave!

Government: Hands Off!

Here is another article about New Jersey government interfering in private business.

It seems as though the perfect energy, solar, is going bust in The Garden State.

due to an overabundance of them flooding the market, the price of solar energy credits, or SRECs, have dwindled by nearly 92 percent in the past year and a half.

What’s the solution? More government intervention, of course!

Legislation that was passed in New Jersey’s Assembly and Senate requires energy companies to purchase more SRECs beginning in 2014, in order to solve the oversaturation problem. But there is a worry that the same issue could occur again if solar projects are not limited within the state.

Yup, force business to pick up the slack. But there is a safety net involved.

The law, known as Senate bill S1925 or the “solar rescue bill,” not only requires energy companies to purchase more SRECs each year, but it will also create a cost ceiling of $325 per certificate, so utility companies will not have to pass off extrordinary costs to their customers.

Of course, this is inefficient. But hey, that’s government for you!

The cost of installing a solar panel system has decreased in the past two years, due to overseas companies creating the materials needed at a discounted cost. This makes it an easier project for many organizations, governments or homeowners to embark on. But the more systems that go on the grid, the less each SREC is worth.

Of course, the Obama-failed plan on green energy is now selling our solar technology business to China at a discount. What a convoluted program.

Dear reader, politics are broken and so warped in our country, seeing a way out of this mess is nearly impossible.

Not What I Expect

I don’t expect government to be concerned with the container I place my groceries. Really!

New Jersey is debating a bill that would assess a surcharge on plastic bags used at the grocery store. They wanted $0.15 charged per bag; that has been reduced to $0.05.

If Shop Rite wants to charge me, that is their business. Of course, if it did I would probably walk and take my business to some store that didn’t charge. If Shop Rite were to lose enough customers, it would re-think their policy. That’s the free market at work.

Shop Rite doesn’t want to charge me. It has no reason to do so.

But the bored politicians in New Jersey (how else do you explain their meddling?) want to force Shop Rite to charge me. That means I cannot exercise my power as a customer as there will be no business I can go to. Shop Rite doesn’t want to be bothered with collecting another tax on behalf of these politicians.

If New Jersey is really that concerned with the environment, then ban Shop Rite from providing a bag at all.

Yeah, it won’t do that because it will not create any money for the state. 😉

Look through this senseless law and recognize this is merely a money grab.

Nelson Albano Caught Lying

Last February, state assemblyman Nelson Albano was pulled over for speeding. That was disclosed in April when it came out he requested preferential treatment. Albano’s story was problematic. It turns out he lied.

He told the public, you and me dear reader, that Trooper Pangborn was disrespectful. As a matter of fact, Albano filed a complaint against the officer stating Pangborn was disrespectful. I ask you, dear reader, was Trooper Pangborn disrespectful?