Page 16 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • July 15, 2009 people who will not be able to find jobs once they graduate. This would cut down on the plundering from people who are still self-sufficient and would also cut down on the heartbreak kids experience when they find out that nobody wants the soft skills they acquired in college and that they should have studied dance or Egyptology because they are going into sales or customer service if they can find any job -- or the government invents one for them. Instead of admitting that education is over-priced and producing an endless number of redundant graduates in soft majors that do not require advanced math or language skills the government continues to produce more jobs in education that, in some cases, do not relate to classroom teaching and direct contact with the kids. We also have the fantasy that every teacher needs a teacher’s aide to run a classroom full of docile suburban kids with supportive parents and a positive attitude toward school. Will every teacher’s aide soon require an aide? More to the point, who is going to pay for it? Some students benefit from having one-on-one attention from an aide. However, the idea that bright and normal eight-year-olds are lions who will eat the teacher if he or she does not have a whip, a chair, a pistol loaded with blanks and at least one teacher’s aide is no longer economically viable. Municipal governments are also sometimes top-heavy. In two local towns, the position of administrator was consolidated with another job, saving most of a paycheck and a second insurance policy. Some administration jobs are vital. Others are make-work. I would have to have a heart of flint to suggest that people who show up for work and are not caught stealing be fired in today’s troubled economy, and I would never suggest such a thing. But we need to have serious closed-session and open-session meetings before we refill some of the positions that were promulgated when the economy was flush and some good-hearted soul needed a job. The Obama administration had a super idea earlier this year: Force the insurance companies of those veterans who have private insurance to pay for their service-related disabilities instead of having the government that sent them overseas pick up the tab. They proposed this outrageous insult in the middle of a special-interest war that most thinking Americans now realize was none of our business. Obama deserves a lot of credit for trying to wind down the War on Islam that was engineered by special-interest “experts” of the Bush administrations, but he deserves a lot of blame for not backing up the men and women who had the courage to defend America in what most of them sincerely believed was a time of danger and need. These kids do not deserve a stab in the back from their own government. American Legion Commander David Rehbein pointed out to the Obama administration that people with serious injuries could quickly use up all the money in their private policies, leaving their families without coverage and that, morally, it was the government’s responsibility to pay for battle damage inflicted on servicemen and servicewomen. Rehbein and others added that employers might be reluctant to hire partially disabled veterans if faced with the concept that they had to be insured without VA backup. The Obama administration could have saved $540 million – a pittance compared to what gets wasted educating people for non-existent jobs – but, surprisingly, the administration had the sense to drop the plan after every veterans’ group in the nation objected and some uniformed amputees on crutches staged a protest. They did the right thing because it was a dumb idea. Adopting it would have been a disgrace to the United States. The message is that we cannot rely on the Republicans or the Democrats to save America. We have to do it ourselves. Here are some ideas about how to start at home. Use whatever surplus cash you have to pay down the mortgage, or put it into federally insured CDs and bank accounts. You do not have to be the least bit paranoid to wonder if the banking collapse that triggered the present depression was manipulated -- of course it was, and at the highest level. These people cannot take away our Constitutional rights as long as we are willing to defend them in court or elsewhere, but they can definitely mess up the stock market when nobody’s watching the store. When the federal regulators are former high rollers in banking it is, as the pre-communist Russians used to say, like asking the goat to watch the cabbages. Buy American products whenever possible, and shop at your local stores. Every local business that closes reduces the municipal tax base, removes the chance of part-time jobs for local kids, and cuts the convenience for people who no longer have cars or do not wish to use them for short trips. Hold off on buying that foreign-made car and see if one of the troubled U.S. auto makers can produce a fuel-efficient hybrid that works. You will be saving gasoline prices, the air we breathe, and some fellow American’s job. Yes, Virginia, I drive an American-made car, and I’m also a veteran. America can be saved, but not by the government. The good and bad news is that it is up to all of us. Independence Day is a time for celebration, but it’s also a time for reflection. We get out there and wave the flag and cheer and then the magic three-day or four-day weekend is over and we come back to reality and drive past the empty storefronts and hear people talking about the best places to go for unemployment counseling and which public-sector jobs will have to be cut. All of a sudden, the party’s really over. Even if you have a job, or no longer need one, you have to reflect that we are all in this lifeboat together, and it’s leaking badly. Once upon a time, most Americans could fall back on the family farm. If you lost your job in the city, you could always go back to the farm and somebody would give you some work so you didn’t feel like a beggar, and you rode things out until times got better. There was no “rent” if the farm wasn’t mortgaged. In the old days, they were often purchased for gold coins passed from hand to hand, and while the food may have been monotonous, it was usually adequate. Nowadays, the replacement for the family farm is the federal government. If you cannot find useful work and you are not an entrepreneur, you take you hat in your hands, or find somebody who knows somebody, and you’re in. State, county, and local governments do this, too. Meanwhile, the textbook publishers churn out nonsense about how Americans by nature are independent, self-reliant people. Most people who are not human dynamos will take any job with a federal, state, county, or local government where they are not routinely insulted or endangered rather than face a cold, cruel world where they have to do enough useful labor to cover their own paycheck. Four out of five new businesses fail in the first year, and the ones that survive generally involve working 60 to 80 hours a week. The people at the top in government jobs often work far more than 40 hours a week, but most government employees have it pretty good and they know it. Government has compounded this problem by fostering programs to send every possible kid to college, and, compounded by the families who see college as a status symbol and the lack of college as a total disgrace, we are now producing two or three times as many college graduates as we need to run the country. Worse still, those college and college-plus educations that really are necessary – medicine and engineering – are so arduous that most Americans shun them as they would the plague, and major in business. What business do these kids think they are going to be managing when the technological manufacturing is done in China and the garment manufacturing takes place in Central America and India? A recent report from one of the Asian countries that is not run by the military and still has some semblance of political integrity states that America is finished, and Japan is just about finished. Guess who’s left. A government that cared about the future of the country it claims to protect might look down the road, look at the Money Bin, and limit federal scholarships to people who take courses in math, science, agriculture, or “strategic” languages instead of tapping the taxpayers to educate It’s time to rescue ourselves Letters to the Editor Dear Editor: For the last several years, the Ho-Ho-Kus-based Washington Elm VFW Post 192, which serves Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus, has been attempting to rectify a wrong foisted on its members in 1994 and 2002 when the post’s command group entered into a lease, after discussions with the borough’s former mayor (who was simultaneously a member of the lessee-railroad club), which at those times signed away, apparently without the post membership’s permission, substantially all of the post’s assets in a lease that is perpetual and “unconscionable” (according to one attorney). As the post commander for the last several years, while directing the post in its many endeavors to get back into supporting the communities of Ho-Ho-Kus and Ridgewood and all veterans and their families, according to the “Purposes of the Corporation,” my burdensome duty has been to try to find a pro bono attorney who would litigate our case in court against this unlawful, illegal lease, so determined by the NJ State VFW Staff Judge Advocate who appears to be supported by at least two state statutes. The lessee, a model railroad club, initiated a unilateral legal action against the veterans of our post when in the fall of 2005 their club member-attorney (the same club memberattorney who wrote the original lease in 1994) went before the Ho-Ho-Kus Council complaining of the post (the landlord) wanting to demolish the building and to reconstruct it, stating that they would fight for their leasehold rights, or words to that effect, even though the club was planned to be offered the entire second floor of the new building. That unilateral, uncooperative, aggressive action by the railroad club and its member-attorney commenced only two days after the post commander and the club’s president agreed to a meeting with club members to discuss the reconstruction project. Unfortunately, the meeting did not take place Veterans seek financial assistance until many months later, since the VFW was now required to find its own attorney. While the railroad club has found an allegedly highpriced, pro bono litigating attorney from Closter represent the approximately 25 club members, the 94 veterans in our post (as of June 30, 2009), all of whom have served or are serving honorably in our country’s military service, have not found any qualified, willing litigator, despite numerous discussions with attorneys, to take our case pro bono. To my recollection, every one of the attorneys we contacted has reviewed the lease and every one has said words to the effect that they “have never seen a lease like this before” in which the lawful property owner (the VFW) is so limited, among other issues, and in which that limitation extends forever. After contacting these many attorneys and not receiving what we required, we attempted to get the ball rolling by going pro se (representing ourselves) in the eviction process. The eviction notice I prepared as the post commander and gave the tenant and its attorney, with copies to the HoHo-Kus Mayor and Council among others, was filed with the Superior Court of Bergen County listing over two pages of inequities and contract violations by the tenant. For example, some of the restrictions included in this perpetual lease are: it limits the use of the facility by the veterans to only once per month for its meeting; it sets the annual lease payment at $1,217 for 2,500 square feet in Ho-Ho-Kus; it relegates the once per month VFW meeting to an area that is impractical for complying with the VFW rituals and bylaws as well as the local fire code; etc. The case was “dismissed without prejudice” because, as a corporation in New Jersey, a litigant is required to have legal representation (an attorney) in the court proceeding. (continued on page 17)