23-03-2018 Hits:270 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz
Back, way back, in the early 1980s, the New York office of the United States Customs Service experienced a full-fledged scandal concerning illegal kickbacks, graft, extortion and more, much more, including obstruction of justice. High-level customs officials went to jail.The Area Director of the Port of Newark was charged with illegally raising the prices a bit extra, shall we say, for licenses and permits in the port. The extra proceeds, apparently, were directed to his personal coffers, not the government's. Other high-ranking officials were indicted for other illegal activities such as outright theft of imported goods and, as did the Area Director, served time in prison.While I was working at Newark I recall quite vividly the morning anxiety of wondering who was going to be taken away in handcuffs that day, the goal of which was to put all employees on notice. (Note to my right-wing readers: no, I wasn't among them.)What was not done, however, was not allowing those who were eligible to retire and collect their earned pensions. The pensions had nothing to do with the penalties for the crimes committed. That was determined in a court of law. Yes, people lost their jobs but, if they were...Read more
21-03-2018 Hits:387 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem
Curious how old habits stay with you.When I was a young boy and it snowed I loathed walking into either the front or backyard disturbing the fresh powder. It looked too pristine, too gentle and way too cool.I wanted to preserve the moment – or the myth of the “perfect snow day”.
16-03-2018 Hits:460 Paul's View Paul K. Schwartz
There are certain expectations we, as citizens, have for the individual occupying the White House. We expect that they have a certain level of integrity, honesty, morals, intelligence, experience, judgment and so forth even if we do not always agree with positions, political or otherwise, they may take.Clearly there have been times in which we may have been let down by occupants of the White House, but just as certainly failure to live up to expectations should not result in lowering our expectations. We should always demand the best of our elected officials even if, at times, we are let down by their actions and judgment.