Tag Archive | "corruption"

Diogenes, New Jersey and You – Perfect Together!

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Diogenes Searching for an Honest Man

Diogenes, for the uninitiated, was a Greek philosopher born in the late 5th Century, BC.  An influential member of a school of philosophy known as the Cynics, Diogenes believed in living a simple life of virtue in harmony with nature.  The image of Diogenes most familiar to the modern world is that of a man walking through city streets in broad daylight and carrying a lantern in search of an honest man.  Reports of Diogenes’ search efforts indicate that he did not find that which he was seeking.

 

And so, it should come as no surprise that on the morning of July 23rd, an FBI sting operation resulted in the arrest of 44 people in New Jersey and New York on charges of corruption and international money laundering.  Included among those ensnared in the FBI’s web were three northern New Jersey mayors, two members of the State Assembly, and a number of rabbis from Hasidic and Syrian Jewish communities in Deal, Elberon, and Brooklyn.  Additionally, Joseph Doria, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner and subject of FBI raids of his Bayonne home and Trenton office, complied with Governor Corzine’s request that he resign his position despite the fact that no formal charges against him have as yet been filed.

 

Reminiscent of the Abscam investigation that brought down, among others, a U.S. senator and a congressman some thirty years ago, the sting operation producing yesterday’s dramatic arrests employed an informant, a failed real estate developer in trouble with the FBI as what has been termed their cooperating witness or CW.  The audio tapes procured by this “wired” informant will, no doubt, seal the fate of those arrested and be among the most hilarious examples of the stupidity of those entrusted with our faith and money.

 

Human frailty, as Diogenes discovered, knows no bounds; nor does human greed.  The FBI sting and subsequent arrest of these discredited leaders, both secular and religious, should reinforce in the public consciousness the need to carefully scrutinize those whom we elevate to positions of trust and authority.  And, to the voters of New Jersey, it should be a clarion call to elect and hold accountable a new generation of lawmakers committed to ending the political corruption for which the State – perhaps more so than any other with the exception of Illinois – is renowned.

 

If we as an electorate do not do so, then our collective stupidity exceeds even that of the political and religious leaders who, blinded by greed, were captured in the FBI’s sting operation.  We have been, yet again, alerted.  Let us go forward with the persistence of Diogenes to uproot the corruption that has made New Jersey its home. 

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