Saturday, August 9, 2008

Public - Private - Parental

Yes, Len Morano's son was busted on a drug charge. What in the name of all that is holy does that have to do with Len other than the excruciating pain he or any parent would experience if their child were caught up in such a mess?

ET says that the leaches and ghouls who are trying to make political fodder out of this are scumbags incarnate. They are lower than what a whale leaves on the ocean floor. If you are one of them, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Many public figures have experienced the most brutal of emotional trauma due to the mishaps of their kin. But it was their kin who committed the act, error, omission and/or crime. It was their kin who, in the cases of alcohol or drugs, suffer from a recognized disease that manifests itself via unlawful acts. And it is their kin who should and will be held accountable.

Former President Jimmy Carter's bozo brother Billy was a national clown. Often stewed to the gills in public, this buffoon put "Billy Beer" on the market. But that was the brother, not the president.

Former First Lady and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is married to a man who cannot seem to control his hormones. The "first husband" waved the "first penis" like an American flag on July 4th. Every time ET saw Hillary on the campaign trail this past spring we wondered if Jennifer Flowers or Monica Lewinsky were waiting for Bill back at the hotel.

Mrs. James McGreevey had a husband who was our state's top elected official. The revelations about scandal based on sexual awakenings were only so intense because he held public office. It was his other offenses that brought him to resignation, as they should have. But it is his ex-wife and children who will bear the agony of the media's insensitivity to privacy.

Barnegat's current mayor has his pain, too. Of any person who lives in the 08005 wonderland, he should understand what is going through Len Morano right now. And he should be the loudest voice in the crowd to remind everyone that a parent's heartbreak is totally irrelevant to their position in life; even if that position is on the township committee.

ET condemns substance abuse vociferously. We have little tolerance for drunks or junkies. Especially when they inflict harm on innocent people. Every time we drive past the Nicole Trapenese memorial sign we remember Ray and Cheryl Barrett grieving. A young girl who never had a chance when a damned drunk drove his car into her's. Such trauma never goes away.

Whether ET likes it or not, drug addiction and alcoholism are recognized diseases. In the case of illegal drugs, punishment under the law often runs concurrently with medical and psychiatric therapy.

ET believes you just don't turn your back on a human being because their affliction is not manifested by a fever or a rash. After all, what does cancer, tuberculosis, polio or heart disease look like?

That is not meant to suggest that we absolve a substance abuser from facing legal consequences. It simply means we accept that which those who are far more qualified than we have decided to be fact.

All of the people whom ET has mentioned most likely love their kin. The pain they suffer for the sins and/or tragedies of their kin is stabbing and horrible. There is no aspirin or percoset pill that can ease their hurting. Their tears are very, very real.

ET has been bare-fisted when we take-to-task a public official who fails to serve the electorate or who has taken advantage of their office for personal gain. We pistol whip that person. Not their spouse, child or great Aunt Tillie.

Two members of the ET consortium were at a local convenience store on Wednesday. Conversation on the checkout line was about Mr. Morano's son. It was a cheap, vicious and totally offensive monologue by one of the local windbags whose own closet is far from clean from what we know of him. This knucklehead ranted on and on about how Len Morano has a hatred for Artie's Angels because his boy was terminated from the police department years ago.

That is absolutely not true. Len Morano's track record is a clear matter of public record.

Morano has always supported public safety as a top priority. The fact that he applies common fiscal sense when he feels a proposed expenditure is excessive is something we should all be grateful for. Hell, it is why we voted for Len and plan to vigorously support him again this year.

ET does not believe we need more SUVs in the police fleet. That does not mean we want to see our cops patrolling in Honda Civics or other compact vehicles. It simply means that we do not conclude that gas guzzlers will make one bit of difference in patrolling a town where 99.9% of the streets are paved and in relatively fine condition. For the few times weather is inclement to the point where a 4-wheel drive vehicle is needed, there are already several four wheel drive SUVs available.

And if David "Body Shop" Breeden were stripped of his 4-wheel drive jeep, there would be one more. ET is of the firm opinion that Breeden does not merit a vehicle that is paid for by the taxpayers.

Len Morano is our neighbor. Len has been a friend to all the people of Barnegat. Right now, Len is hurting. It is a type of pain that any parent whose child has pulled a major screw up can relate to. That pain plagues a parent 24/7. Knowing your kid is incarcerated behind bars is a terrible cross to bear.

ET thinks back to watching the now-deceased actor Carroll O'Connor, star of the landmark television classic "All in the Family." O'Connor once took to a witness stand and testified about the tragic death of his boy, Hugh. ET remembers being on the verge of tears as Mr. O'Connor shared his mortification and hurt as he poignantly described the ordeal that the disease of drug addiction had wrought upon his beloved son and himself. Hugh O'Connor died a violent death. And all of his dad's millions could not prevent it.

To Len and all other parents who walk at his side with similar pain, ET sends our prayers and best wishes.

To those who would kick a man when he is down and vilify Len over this tragedy we wish you an all expenses paid one way trip to a place where hypocrisy and false bravado blow up in your face..

All loving parents stand by their children - no matter what.