The Jaffe Briefing - February 14, 2018
OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
ON AIR - Gov. Phil Murphy had his very first "Ask the Governor" monthly program last night. He appeared on News 12 New Jersey to field your questions about all things New Jersey. Impossible to recap an hour segment. Of course, we will try: New Jersey should be a better place to retire. The state pension mess will be solved. Pot should be legal. New Jersey likes its undocumented immigrants, and they should get drivers' licenses. And maybe NJ Transit employees will get raises. This was all said with a loosened necktie and his jacket off, so you know the governor is working really hard on all this stuff.
PRINCETON - Colleges ought not be comfortable places, full of comfortable textbook learning. The best of the best - like Princeton University - must challenge, provoke, anger and - above all - force students to think. So, it is unclear why four students walked out of an anthropology class last week when the professor repeatedly used the "n word" in a class titled "Cultural Freedoms - Hate Speech, Blasphemy and Pornography." Honestly, in a class with such a title, how can the "n word" not be repeatedly used and discussed? The class has now been cancelled, after last week's racial slur, a disservice that prompts this question: What was the point of this class, if not to make students uncomfortable?
ONLINE - It's Valentine's Day, the annual "Black Friday" for online dating sites who always see a spike from those looking for love. But, as the Observer reports, it may be safer to head to the local bar and see what's hanging there. That's because the online sites are all about collecting and sharing information. Cybersecurity experts say many users share plenty of personal information in the hopes of finding the perfect match. And that makes for some really tasty information for hackers, looking to build your personality/user profile. Advertisers also love these sites, as Match.com uses 150 ad trackers to see what you like and what you don't, as it optimizes its "matching," apparently. Suddenly, that guy at the end of the bar, on his third $3 Pabst, doesn't look that awful.
NEWARK - If you are a teacher caught making a sex tape with a student, you usually assume your teaching career is kaput. Yet, even in this cyberworld where everything ultimately becomes public, NJ 101.5 is telling the story of a 27-year-old English teacher who had sex with a Coney Island, NY kid, who then shared photos and videos with his fellow giggling students. The New York Post was all over it, with a blaring tabloid story. That teacher resigned in 2014, promptly went across the Hudson River, secured a state teachers' license and was hired by the Newark schools. Now a bill is in the state Legislature that would lift any protections against teachers accused of misdeeds, so they don't just quietly bounce from place to place.
HACKENSACK - A scrappy North Jersey assemblywoman became an undercover journalist, recording the stories of applicants seeking benefits at an understaffed unemployment office in Hackensack. Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi was rightfully ticked, as she shared the tales of woe of people waiting on a Monday morning, with one clerk attempted to serve a roomful of clients. A guy who looked like a security guard appeared more interested in having her stop recording from her phone, as opposed to helping get clients served. "Many of the people I spoke to this morning wait outside in the cold for upwards of several hours because only five people at a time are generally allowed in the building," the assemblywoman said. "People will wait for three to four hours inside and then find out that they cannot be seen that day." Schepisi said she will be meeting with state labor officials to see if "client service" can become a priority at the unemployment office.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
LOUISVILLE, KY - During these tough, partisan times in Washington, how about some good, ol' patriotism to remember what is really important? That's been provided by a bunch of all-state high school choirs in Kentucky. They took over the balconies of more than a dozen floors of the Hyatt Regency to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" last week. The performance has become an annual tradition at the Kentucky Music Educators Association's Choir Finals. Beautiful stuff; enjoy here.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Four men dressed as cops enter gangster Bugs Moran's headquarters on North Clark Street in Chicago, line seven of Moran's henchmen against a wall, and shoot them to death. It was this day in 1929 that is forever known as "St. Valentine's Day Massacre."
WORD OF THE DAY
Instauration - [in-staw-RAY-shun] - noun
Definition: Restoration after decay, lapse, or dilapidation
Example: My beating heart is in instauration on this Valentine's Day morning.
WEATHER IN A WORD
Posted in Morning Briefing