Wednesday, September 7, 2011

City Council begins with a full house and full agenda @ 7:00

(Meeting is expected to go into a closed session first for about 15 minutes on the hospital's pending sale.)

The first City Council meeting after Labor Day should mean a full house to take on a full agenda.  Some items carried over include codifying the city charter - an issue open over decades in oversight and the campaign finance reform pay to play ordinance that has been batted around all year.

There's a new public safety director on tap and up to bat; Jon Tooke brings a wealth of experience including some fine letters on his resume: FBI.  Can you say timely?

The resolution to remove Nancy Pincus from the Zoning Board will be heard in closed session where it will surely die a quick death when other members of the council majority will not likely tolerate the Occhipinti wailing for censorship and totalitarian repression.  Too bad we won't get to hear Councilwoman Beth Mason on the matter.

Word on the street is it was Tim Occhipinti and Lane Bajardi who put in the police complaint on the satirical series of FBI Letters, no. 4 being their point of protest where not a single name (or address mind you) appeared identifying any of the Mile Square City's 50,000 residents.

Who could have provided the inspiration and direction for that complaint?

The full agenda is available at the City Council link:

Guest of the Stable: InfotainMe

Dear Reform,

 How are you?  How’s Mrs Reform?  Did you have a nice summer?  It has been kind of anxious around here waiting for the FBI to come and solve our problems.  I wonder if they will ever get here.  Kind of like Godot in that play, no?  And what will happen when they do get here?  Maybe they aren’t as mad as us, or not as mad at the same things.  Then what?  Will we have to solve our problems all by ourselves?

 I hear the people we want the FBI to deal with are going after Nancy Pincus’s Zoning Board seat again.  Or, as they like to say, they are protecting the public from the harmful effects of satire.  Politics has nothing to do with it.  So they assure us. 

This is a little different from the last time they went after Ms Pincus’s Zoning seat, wouldn’t you agree?  Remember last time?  They were pretending that Beth Mason’s Jewish sensitivities were ground into powder by a pun on Triumph of the Will/Shills?  You know, Beth?  She’s the one wearing the crucifix in the “here’s your crackers” photo-op after the hurricane was over?  Yeah, that’s her. 

 Like last time, the operation has that Lane Bajardi … style.  You start by removing satire from its context – hoping people are stupid enough to forget that satire is fully dependent on context.  Next, you eliminate all reference to humor as if nothing could have been said in jest, ie, Ms Pincus really does want to meet the FBI at Mamouns for falafel and then shoot some people.  You try to get people to think of it as a kind of to-do list rather than a string of chatty absurdities. 

 Having thus set the stage you pretend to be outraged at what remains on the page as though it were meant in all seriousness.  This is the territory of a humorless nerd and 3rd rate political hack.  And there’s none more humorless, nerdy, or 3rd rate than our own aforementioned LB.  You can find him now, touring the blogs defending the unconstitutional police action in his usual array of comically inept internet “disguises.”
And again just like last time, the gameplan is to raise the “issue” in the city council so it can be on TV.  Beth and Lane do love TV so.  And Tim Occhipinti is so coachable.  After all, if you were over 30, still sharing an apartment with a bunch of other guys, and the crux of your day job was to try to ask callers if their PC was plugged in before they demanded to speak with “whoever is in charge over there” – you’d be pretty coachable too.

 After the August 24 ‘performance’, I have a masochistic urge to hear Timmy angrily deconstruct “Who’s on First?” 

 “Correct me if I’m wrong - all he was asking was ‘who is on first base’.  Is that too much to ask?  Wasn’t he entitled to that information - Lou Costello, a credentialed journalist?  But was he given a straight answer by the team administration?  No!  Instead he was given the runaround for 10 minutes just for asking a simple question!  Where’s the transparency?!?!” (Insert pencil jab.)

Oh, that reminds me – how this attempt to remove Ms Pincus from the ZBA by violating her 1st Amendment rights is different from last time they attempted to remove Ms Pincus from the ZBA by violating her 1st Amendment rights.  It’s that thing Timmy said at the August 24 City Council meeting.  I believe the words were “ongoing criminal investigation”?

 Yeah, about that.  First, how did Mr Occhipinti know about it?  Ms Pincus was told she would be arrested if she spoke about it.  But Mr Occhipinti could talk about it in a public forum?  Why would the police volunteer that information to Mr Occhipinti if they wanted it kept quiet?  How did Mr Occhipinti find out?  Curious.  But that isn’t really the point.

After all this time I have no expectation of anything resembling class, intellect, or respect for how the taxpayer’s money is spent from Mr Occhipinti.  And I have scant higher hopes for Mr Bajardi, notwithstanding that Mr Occhipinti makes him look like a nuclear physicist.  It was Mr Bajardi after all who recently sicced the police on Kurt Gardiner at the New Jersey Symphony concert a few weeks ago for taking pictures of the sunset, so this conduct hardly comes as a surprise.

But I do have higher expectations for the Hoboken Police Department.  Namely, that they not make themselves an accessory to what is clearly a politically-motivated witch-hunt with the thinnest imaginable legal pretext; and that they not piss away tax dollars performing free-lance intimidation of citizens as a favor to political allies.

A word to you officers.  You know who you are.  You went to the woman’s home and conducted this interrogation in front of her child?  THIS interrogation about a puff piece?  So some political hacks could clear a zoning seat?  And then you told her you would arrest her if she talked about it but you turned around and gave the details to Mr Occhipinti so he could talk about them on Channel 78?

I am nominally a Democrat, but most of my ideals are rather old-fashioned.  And I’ll tell you this – in my book, you are not men.  Sorry, the bar is a little higher than that.

So, back to you, Mr & Mrs Reform and the council majority thereof.  I do not really want to hear a lot of hand-wringing about what you think Ms Pincus’s satire should look and sound like.  If you have any talent for satire yourselves, by all means give it a shot.  Otherwise, ahem, butt out.  Read, don’t read, like, don’t like.  Those are your options.  But she is not a tool of the administration or a servant of a political agenda.
I’m reminded of the great quote from the author of "We," Yevgeny Zamayatin’s letter to Joseph Stalin requesting asylum. "True literature can only exist when it is created, not by diligent and reliable officials, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels and skeptics.” 

In other words, butt out.

Your focus should not be what Ms Pincus should or shouldn’t say in her blog.  Rather, the question should be WHY ON EARTH IS THE HOBOKEN POLICE DEPARTMENT MIXING IN THIS SILLY POLITICAL OPERATION???  On the tax-payer’s dime?  WHY?  Who ordered it?  Who approved it?  Where do they get off DENYING A CITIZEN HER CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS under a THREAT OF IMMINENT ARREST IN FRONT OF HER DAUGHTER?  DOES THIS CONSTITUTE OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT AND IS DISCIPLINARY ACTION WARRANTED?  We have a new Public Safety Director.  Looks like he has his first assignment.

Got all that, Mr & Mrs Reform?  Please don’t piss me off further on this little matter.  Or so help me I will kick your cotton-candy asses from City Hall to the Tea Building. 

Have a nice day!

Now someone be a lamb and phone in this terroristic threat.  Daddy’s tired.

InfotainMe is a long time observer of Hoboken politics.  If you wish to submit to "Guest of the Stable," please limit it to 1000 words and email it to for consideration.