Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hoboken debate

I'm half way through editing the 4th ward debate in Hoboken. Both sides told me the other side did well. With good reason. Both candidates held their own and presented their side well. While there are no "I knew John Kennedy" moments, there are plenty of sharp remarks at each other. Hope to have it up on the web by monday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the 31st District Debate videos

31st District Debate video

blood on the door

The Bob Dylan album "Blood on the Tracks," only came to me later when I got to my office and saw the blood-like drips on the screen door and store window.
I don't think of blood right away. Or make the connection that this ugly thing might be directed at me.
The police said it might be just some kids fooling around as the lab boys took a sample, but if so, there would have been similar smears up and down the street on other doorways, not just ours.
While the police had no such list, I began to compile a list of my own: who have I offended in such a way and should I consider carrying a gun?
Over my long life, I have wandered through some strange worlds from the LA porno scene to the Weather Underground. I even met the Manson Family once, and was threatened by some wanna be Hell's Angels when I gave them the finger (the scars of their chains across my back faded over time).
Yet not since I spent several days in a county jail have I felt so vulnerable. Someone somewhere out there is sending me a message. But what message? What are they trying to say? What have I done they don't want me to do or not done that they wanted done.
Damn it, I wish they had sent me a telegram.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stuck in the middle with you

I heard the old 1970s hit on the radio on my way to work today and started laughing. We used to make fun of the song, especially the lines about jokers to the left, clowns to the right, but these days the humor has turned to irony as I stumble into weird worlds I didn't imagine existed, political ties and personal ties mingling so that I don't know which one I am in the middle of at any given moment.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The physics of politics

Politics is like physics in that generally, for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.
And somtimes, actions and reactions escalate so that each action pushes the opposite side to react slightly harsher in something that eventually become a blood feud -- one slight leading the other side to get even so that in the end people on both sides forget just exactly who started what and have equal claim that the other side is vicious.
Politics is not a gentleman's or gentlewoman's game -- it is a blood sport.
Although touted as the peaceful means of controlling power, it is as psychologically violent as open warfare.
So called reformers rarely understand this when they seek to curb abuse of power.
Half the reason people are in politics is to abuse it, collect contracts, jobs, or special privileges other people don't enjoy. When you get in the way of that aim, you are asking for trouble.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beating myself.

All men think the same way -- even when we claim we don't. I'm not talking about politics so much as social politics -- especially where the opposite sex is concerned. We are predictable as the tides, and this is our great weakness. A pretty smile, a kiss on the cheek, and we melt inside -- or else we turn nasty.
Recently talking about women with power and how we react. In truth, women over time have always had power over men, but we put on airs like we're independent or immune. We never are. But sometimes, we get bitter or angry at the idea. Some times, we just surrender. That's always the better option. Knowing up front, we can't win and accepting it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

All kinds of politics

I am always reminded that politics doesn't always mean elections and sometimes the reasons people run for office, are as much personal as public -- driven for lust of power, lust of money, lust itself.
I don't always understand it, although I hear the ache for personal power in many people's voices when I talk to them, the need to be in the game, to be a player.
I have enough wants and needs in my life -- which is why I always avoided cocaine -- so if I ever get like that, somebody shoot me.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

life gets complicated

Off to meet with the mayor -- who is upset with a story I wrote. Even when you talk to all the right people and gather all the necessary documents, stuff happens.
During the first month of my reporting job in what was then called West Paterson, I went to a political function where that mayor answered residents about testing kids for possible problems with chemical contamination. He later claimed he never said it, and since the function had all of his followers, no one else backed me up.
An early lesson about getting documentation. But even when you get it, you get slammed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Political confrontations

got into it all over the place this week.
As a reporter, I'm used to getting yelled at, and sometimes, I have to admit mistakes. It wound up to be a mixed bag this time.
A few weeks ago, I confronted the grafix avenger, and later decided I liked her work, and I had to make peace.
But in BAyonne, I wrote a story about possible moves being made behind the scenes. Many of the people who object loudest to the story didn't real the fine print on contracts. But i'm being put through the ringer.