Linda's NJ Voices Blog
Fall-out from Bridgegate: Deconstructing an image (and lifting a spell)
Here we are, in 2014, looking back at Chris Christie's career. Maybe we should have looked a lot harder before. But for Bridgegate, though, we might not be looking at all.
The Koch Brothers vs regulation and responsible government
The Koch brothers and their feeders, followers and sidekicks can't be dismissed as fringe players. Their actions are not only affecting elections and thwarting governance, they are hurting human beings, seeking to deprive them of unemployment benefits, a fair wage, food stamps and insurance coverage and compromising the safety and health of their environment.
Mail delivery: A right or a privilege?
A U.S. Postal Service truck makes a delivery on Franklin Place in Morristown during a snowstorm in early January, 2014Linda Stamato “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their...
Smoking and public health: Big Tobacco threatens the sovereignty of nations
Big Tobacco is losing market share in the U.S. and Europe and so it is developing new fronts. Not a pretty picture: The industry has taken to bullying sovereign nations to boost its sales in developing markets.
Studying public policy and planning at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Rutgers, as a public university, is a crucible for learning; it must serve too as a critic of social ills and as a catalyst for reform and progress.
More than Philomena's story: Relinquished children, forced adoptions, and the search for identity in Ireland and America
If they wish to be found, how can we fail to provide to birth parents--and adoptees-- access to those who seek them? The state must get out of the way, end the secrecy and allow adopted children and adults and their birth parents to gain the information they need and want.
Teaching in America
There are few things more important than educating the nation's children, more essential to the nation's welfare, or, more gratifying.
A Nation Divided: The Two Faces of the American Economy
Congress, unperturbed by the nation's rising inequality, wrapped it up for the year and went home to celebrate the holidays. We need a change in attitude and action in 2014 to be the America we believe ourselves to be.
Expectations and every day encounters
Do seemingly small infractions add up to something more? In the aggregate, do these acts of selfishness and lack of regard for others have a cost to society?
On this Thanksgiving day, let's commit to a more humane politics, one that rejects austerity, promotes growth and provides a path to security, a living wage and freedom from want for all.
Trey Radel, the Hip Hop Conservative Republican, hypocrite or not?
Representative Trey Radel pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine but is he also a hypocrite as charged? Not likely. The main supporters of the amendment to require drug testing for food stamp recipients are his Republican colleagues; they are the hypocrites.
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches in history, took only a few minutes, at 270 words, but its impact defies description.
Douglass celebrates a birthday: 95 years in 2013
The New Jersey College for Women opened a door for women 95 years ago. Rather than planning for its own obsolescence--as opportunities for women expanded--Douglass College, named for NJC's founding dean, reinvented itself. Its successor, DRC, is still opening doors.
Way to go, Texas!
Instead of looking for more ways to restrict access we ought to be working in every state to make elections free, fair, and accessible to all eligible citizens.
Come election time, the GOP tries an appeal to Hispanic voters
Voters are simply too smart not to spot this last minute, pre-election appeal to those whose interests the governor has either neglected or actively opposed for three years. Promises do not amount to much; actions count.
Advice to the Ledger from Bambi's sidekick Thumper
Endorsing Christie by listing his faults? Much has been made, here and elsewhere, about why the editors of the Star Ledger endorsed Chris Christie. Frankly, when you have so much negative to say about someone, you’re better off saying...
A Steep Climb to Victory for Independents and Third Party Candidates
Despite the popular yearning for change, the cards are still stacked against independents and third party candidates. But talented, committed, enthusiastic and hard-working candidates can prevail. It's just a steep climb.
Christie Changes his Tune on Tuition
There are no federal, state or local laws that prohibit public colleges from admitting and enrolling undocumented students so how do we justify charging them differential tuition rates? Finally, the governor sees the light and supports tuition equality. Better late than not at all.
The stand-off in Washington: Negotiations and false equivalencies
The American system of governance does not anticipate that one party can delay, amend, or repeal a law by shutting down the rest of the government. That is not the way democracy works and, if it were, then no law would ever be secure.
The scandal of poverty and the cowardice of the Republican Right
The Republic tea party loyalists in the House should slink away in shame, cowards that they are. Their loyalty to the right wing of their national party may be in tact but their souls are in shreds.