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So, Tony Mack and Rene Descartes Are Having A Drink in a Bar...

… and Descartes says, “Tony, care for another round?”

“I think not,” said Tony Mack. And he promptly disappears in a puff of smoke.

Sorry about that. But I could not resist, not after the Office of the IO entered the mystical realms in its latest Press Release, issued last night.

Titled, “I’m Not Going To Be Ignored, Dan!” “City of Trenton Challenges Skewed View of History”, this release attempts to remind people – and Posterity, in his appeal to History – that the Indicted Occupant of Trenton’s Mayor’s Office has accomplished great things in office, and we should Pay Attention.

I won’t review any of his so-called “accomplishments,” since the list and the entire document is simply pathetic, and to critique them seriously would be to attach more legitimacy to it than it deserves. Today, I would just like to draw attention to what is surely one of the most comical statements ever to come out of this comical Administration.

The first draft for one part of  the introductory paragraph was almost certainly originally composed as something like, “We really tried to do our best. But the problems were so HARD for us to do anything about!” After some re-working, the final version now reads,

“Our administration continues to do the best that it can, with the resources made available to us, to address these issues. What we can say, with metaphysical certitude, is that there is no magic bullet that would rid our community of these problems overnight.” [Emphasis mine - KM]

Whoa, Nelly! Let me get to the Metaphysics in a moment. That’s been getting a lot of attention, rightfully so. But I don’t want to lose sight of a preceding phrase, because it betrays much of the mindset of this guy and his crew that has poisoned this town in the last three years.

The IO says he’s done the best he could, “with the resources made available to us.” A veritable revelation, this is! The IO expected that the resources necessary to do his job – to make a contribution to this city, to serve its citizens by making things a little better at the end of his term than at its beginning – would be made available to him; that is, given to him!

No mention is made, no thought given to the possibility that it was ever his job to find, earn or create more resources! Heaven Forbid!

Read that statement in the context of the news this week that the City ignored for months a requirement from the State of New Jersey to come up with a plan to fix its broken parking and parking enforcement systems. The City is supposed to earn money from charging for daily parking using curbside meters, but the State was concerned that the City’s system was missing out on a lot of revenue with obsolete systems and policies, and inconsistent enforcement. The State was adamant that this was an area the City could improve to, you know, sorta kinda have more resources made available to it!!! So adamant that they wrote a July 1 deadline for the City to submit a plan to increase its parking revenue into the Memo of Understanding for this year’s NJ Transitional Aid, the main source of state support for Trenton’s budget

But, of course, the City ignored the requirement. July 1 came and went, with no report sent to the State. The City, kind of, forgot. According to the Jenna Pizzi piece in the Times, “When interviewed last month, [Business Administrator Sam] Hutchinson said he was unaware of any submission the city was supposed to make to the DCA regarding parking.” [Emphasis mine - KM]

Of course he was “unaware!” Who cares about some middling parking meter and parking ticket money? Not Trenton! It’s just pocket change!! In fact, in that same article, we read that “The number of tickets reported, which tallied the number of tickets issued electronically, does not include several weeks [in June and July] when the officer’s electronic ticketing machines were out of printing paper, according to Detective Alexis Durlacher who prepared the report.” [Emphasis mine - KM]

Out of paper. For weeks. In the same City that runs out of toilet paper. Hopeless.

What a perfect example of the mindset in City Hall. The mundane matter of parking revenue must be considered so insignificant and unimportant by the IO, Mr Hutchinson and the rest that not only can ticketing grind to a halt for weeks because there’s no paper on which to write tickets, but a state mandate to write a report and devise a plan for the City to earn more money is entirely ignored!

Why should the City work hard for more parking meter and ticket money? The real big bucks, the major resources, will just be made available to us!

The IO, Mr. Hutchinson and the rest of this Administration are morally bankrupt, to go right along with the financial condition of this town.

Back to metaphysics. The IO can say – “with metaphyiscal certitude” – that there is “no magic bullet” to solve the City’s problems. Beside the extremely unfortunate usage of the word “bullet,” magic or otherwise, in a sad week that has so far seen the year’s 22nd and 23rd homicides, both by gunfire, the IO makes some serious philosophical errors.

In metaphysics, the proposition that there can be certainty about Anything is one that is highly debated. Whether the human mind is capable of fully comprehending the reality about any feature of existence has been debated for hundreds of years. To use the phrase “metaphysical certitude” may sure sound highfalutin’ and may have seemed to be a winner to whoever the author of this release was. But it reveals a profound ignorance on the part of the IO in this, as in so, so, so, so many other fields of human endeavor.

I don’t claim to be expert in philosophy myself, so let me ask Mr. Rene Descartes, whose most famous declaration “I Think, Therefore I Am” is itself an argument about Certainty.

He once wrote “[M]oral certainty is certainty which is sufficient to regulate our behaviour, or which measures up to the certainty we have on matters relating to the conduct of life which we never normally doubt, though we know that it is possible, absolutely speaking, that they may be false.”

Descartes realizes that, as humans, we can never have absolute certainty; that is reserved for the Divine. Any certainty, any conviction or confidence that we have in things must, must be tempered with an undercurrent of Doubt, with an admission that we may believe things to be true, but “they may be false.”

This “metaphyiscal doubt,” if you will, is something the IO is incapable of. He has no doubt that he’s done a great job. He cannot conceive that he has done anything less that a splendid job in office, and he wants History to know it!

He believes that on the very same day when other mayoral hopefuls exhibit their leadership – finally! – by seeking to reach out and heal a hurting city in a time of violence, danger and loss, it’s a good idea to remind folks that his Administration hosted the Annual Senior Gala.

What a profoundly stupid man.

What a misguided Administration.

What a loss for the citizens of this City that we are burdened with them all for one more year.

1 comment to So, Tony Mack and Rene Descartes Are Having A Drink in a Bar…

  • Michael Smith

    Kevin I’m looking forward to your first novel… Would it be your first?

    Metaphysical certainty?

    If a tree falls in a forest and no one see’s or hears it did it fall?
    Meaning existence exists, to grasp that concept a person must be conscious.
    Obviously the IO is barely conscious. The universe isn’t what it is but what he “wishes” it to be,and evidently we are all along for the ride….lol

    Question? What is the sound of the one hand clap?