Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm The Old Kid In Town

(I was recently promoted to editor of the second-largest newspaper in my company's chain of community publications here on Long Island. The following is a rather light introductory column addressed to my new readers).

By Joseph Kellard

I’m an honest guy. So there’ll be no empty words here telling you that, after six-plus years as the reporter/editor of the Oceanside-Island Park Herald, I took the position of Long Beach editor because I have an undying love for the city. Let’s just leave my main motive at this: I needed a raise.

Now, let’s get on with what’s probably important to you, dear Herald reader, and that is that I know Long Beach well and have always enjoyed this city. I grew up nearby, in Oceanside, and spent my adult years there before moving to East Meadow last March. Over the decades I’ve spent many sunny days catching rays on the beach and, I must admit, numerous nights socializing at Long Beach’s bars, including, yes, Chauncey’s, the notorious West End watering hole turned townhouses.

But that was many broken waves and Budweisers ago, and what’s most relevant is that I got my start in journalism as a reporter for the Independent Voice, the Long Beach newspaper that the Herald purchased in 2001, after which I was hired as a reporter under Keith Grant, then the editor of this publication. Between the two papers, I have about 16 months of experience reporting in Long Beach under my 32-inch belt.

So even though the interim has been long, I believe I still have enough of a feel for the pulse of this city to pick up where I left off. And I’ve never really left. I continue to frequent the boardwalk on summer days and can be found chatting with friends or reading at Starbucks near City Hall, and I’ve periodically covered some Long Beach-related stories. In recent years they’ve included the murder of city native Robert Calabrese Jr. and his killer’s trial and sentencing, the East End residents unnerved by noisy Island Park nightclubs and the school district’s debate over whether to enroll Island Park high school students (see my front page follow-up).

If anything stands out about my earlier experiences reporting here, it’s that there was no shortage of stories to tell. The news is constant, and the interesting and accomplished people to profile are many. And that’s another big reason I took this editor’s position. Of all the South Shore communities the Heralds cover, Long Beach is by far the most exciting. The one concern I foresee is that there’s only so much editorial space, so selectivity of stories is of the essence.

In undertaking this task, first and foremost, I need to find out what issues you, the readers, and I think are most important. But I also aim to provide the unexpected — that is, what really makes the news “new.” This way, when you pick up your Herald each week, I hope you’ll do so with the expectation that we’ll cover not only the obviously important and traditional stories — but also with an eagerness to see what new angles we may take on them, or what connections we might make between seemingly unrelated events, or what new intriguing personalities and unsung heroes we find.

That’s the path down which I’d like to steer this paper. There’s no telling which way it’ll lead, but hope you enjoy the ride and the new scenery.

Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York. Please post comments about this article.

For inquiries about Joseph Kellard’s writing services, email him at:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Sins, Pedophilia & Catholicism

I wrote the following letter and emailed it to various nationwide newspapers. The article that sparked my response can be read here:,2933,336330,00.html

To the Editor:

The Vatican lists pedophilia among its newly-added seven deadly sins, and the Pope apparently believes that Catholic priests sexually molest children because they put “trust in themselves and in their own merits,” he said, and are “blinded by their own ‘I,’” – that is, independent thought, pride and egoism made them do it. In reality, however, the causes can be traced to Catholic doctrines.

While I’m not a psychologist, I’m sure an adult’s desire to have sex with children involves many complex causes that even the most rational of psychologists find difficult to understand. Yet, while many non-Catholics molest children, I nevertheless maintain that Catholicism’s views on man and sex contribute strongly to this problem among its practitioners.

Christianity starts with the doctrine of Original Sin, which tells man he is corrupt by nature. Along comes Catholicism to tell him sex is permitted only for procreation among married couples, while maligning sex for an individual’s own rational pleasure, happiness and self-celebration as materialistic, low and devoid of spiritual meaning. And so Catholicism regards certain actions as inherently immoral: pre-marital sex, masturbation, homosexuality and birth control – and only because the Bible or its earthly authorities (the Popes) say so.

Moreover, according to Christian doctrine, man is damned not only for what he does, but also for his thoughts, as when he covets (sexually desires) his neighbor’s wife. Accordingly, a man must repress even sexual fantasy because just the mere (impure) thought is morally indistinguishable from a sexual act. Notice, too, that Christianity’s ideals are Jesus, a man without sexuality, and the Virgin Mary, who conceived him without the alleged stigma of having had sex. Priests and nuns embody these ideals in their vows of celibacy.

Meanwhile, Catholics understandably rebel against such a repressive sexual philosophy, but some of Catholicism’s most devote practitioners, priests, essentially revert to the other false alternative of hedonism. They who try most to adhere to their faith’s contradictory, anti-man, anti-life ideals must fall short of achieving them and, subsequently, feel unearned guilt and low self-esteem – consequences that, I believe, can for some manifest themselves in a attraction for those they can feel some sense of power over: children.

Pedophilia is neither, as some moderns contend, an uncontrollable “diseases,” nor is it the product of independence, pride and egoism – the actual values needed for a healthy sex life. Instead, a pedophile’s thoughts and actions are rooted in his fundamental philosophic premises, and are, in part, among the many tragic consequences of a faith in religious doctrines.

Joseph Kellard
East Meadow, NY

Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York.

Please post comments about this article. For inquiries about Joseph Kellard’s writing services, email him at:

Monday, March 17, 2008

ARI Op-ed on Subprime Published

By Joseph Kellard

Today I printed Alex Epstein’s insightful ARI op-ed “Too Big To Bail” in the Oceanside-Island Park Herald. This newspaper, which I’m now leaving to become the editor of a larger publication in the Herald’s chain of Long Island community papers, has some 5,000-plus subscribers, and potentially thousands of other readers. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Epstein’s op-ed, followed by a link to the complete version:

“For decades our government has had a semi-official policy that large financial institutions are too big to fail--and therefore must be bailed out when they risk insolvency--a policy that creates perverse incentives for them to take on far more risk than they otherwise would. ‘Too big to fail’ is implemented through a network of government bodies that protect financial institutions from the long-term consequences of their decisions at taxpayer expense--a phenomenon we can observe right now.”

Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York. Please post comments about this article.

For inquiries about Joseph Kellard’s writing services, email him at:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Obama's Racist, Anti-American Mentor

By Joseph Kellard

On Friday night (March 14), I turned on The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News, and Bill O’Reilly was interviewing two women who were defending Barak Obama’s long-time mentor and “spiritual leader,” Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Wright has stated that 9/11 was the “chickens coming home to roost” for America’s supposedly aggressive foreign policy (particularly for its support of Israel over the Palestinians). A self-described “black liberation theologian,” Wright has also made the following statements during his sermons at the United Trinity Church of Christ:

“We cannot see that what we are doing is what Al Qada is doing under a different colored flag.”

“Fighting for peace is like raping for virginity.”

“God damn America for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating us citizens as less than human.”

“The government lied about inventing the AIDS virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”

“The government lied about the Tuskegee experiment. They purposely infected African American men with syphilis.”

The following is my email to O’Reilly (with a reference to an invitation, by one of his guests, to visit Wright at his church), who can be contacted at (

Mr. O’Reilly,

Rev. Wright is essentially a racist and viciously anti-American. I see that you understand this, and I hope you have the courage to call him such to all of his apologists—and Wright himself, when and if you meet him.

Joseph Kellard
East Meadow, New York

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spitzer's Comeuppance Falls Short

By Joseph Kellard

Over in the comments section of a post at Gus Van Horn’s site, Galileo Blogs offered the following insight about Eliot Spitzer that I believe is right on target:

"He was less an enemy of business as such than he was an enemy of particular businessmen whom he felt had opposed or slighted him in some way ... As an example, witness how he had a penchant for personally threatening men such as John Whitehead, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs."

I had noticed this penchant, but was unaware of the depth of Spitzer’s personal vendettas. When Spitzer ran for governor in 2006, I entered the voting booth with an overriding theme: vote against the Republicans. Their actions since the 2004 presidential elections — from George Bush’s rhetoric on the war that proved to be all hot air, to the religionists who showed total disregard for our Constitutional Republic during the Terry Schiavo matter, to the increased “me-too” pragmatism of conservatives on issues such as health care — convinced me that the Republicans were accelerating the rate of pacifism and statism in our nation. And so I voted for the Democrats across the board, no matter who they were, so long as I knew them not to be evil, such as the explicit racist Charles Barron, a former Black Panther who sits on the New York City Council. The only Dem I refused to vote for, however, was Spitzer. He was too dangerous a thug for me to give him any kind of sanction.

Before and after Spitzer’s resignation, I heard some of his Republican opponents praise him for some of his political policies. But given what a wannabe dictator the man was, whatever good policies he may have had (and I don’t know of any), they are essentially irrelevant in the face of his basic, evil nature. So to hear Republicans speak of him, even with just faint praise, confirmed that I made the right choices in 2006 — both in voting against them and refusing to pull the lever for Spitzer.

Meanwhile, I dashed off and sent the letter below to both the New York Post editorial staff and the author of his opinion piece on Spitzer at:

Here is an excerpt from the column:

“Spitzer, as attorney general, was repeatedly accused of improperly threatening Wall Street investment bankers - not to mention their firms and other related businesses, such as insurance - with legal actions if they didn't admit to alleged wrongdoings and pony up hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.

"While few initially doubted the legitimacy of Spitzer's charges, serious questions began to be raised after John Whitehead, the highly regarded former head of Goldman Sachs, wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal describing a harrowing confrontation with a menacing attorney general.”

To the Editor:

Fred Dicker’s piece on Eliot Spitzer (“Bully Gets His Comeuppance,” March 11) further confirmed what a thug the man was -- or is. The problem with Spitzer’s downfall is that [it] happened over a sex scandal and not for the dictatorial behavior he exhibited toward his real or perceived enemies, such as innocent businessmen like John Whitehead.

Joseph Kellard
East Meadow, NY

Send letters to the editor:

Sent letters to Fred Dicker:

Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York.

Please post comments about this article. For inquiries about Joseph Kellard’s writing services, email him at:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Devious Swtich to "Climate Change"

By Joseph Kellard

Daily Tech reports the following:

“Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.”

Read the complete article here:

Objectivist blogger Ergo asks in regard to this report on the record cold temperatures throughout the world: “So, is it time to return to the global cooling hysteria of the 1970s?”

No, for the environmentalists, it is time now to turn to “climate change” hysteria. It is exactly their anticipation of this natural cyclical trend — between years/decades of general warming followed by years/decades of general cooling — that has made the greens switch to calling our alleged weather crisis “global warming” to the completely elastic term “climate change.” Environmentalists have denied that this is a natural trend, and that doesn't matter anyway: when they’re proven wrong they can just switch the terms of the debate.

When the world was generally cooling during the 1970s, the green hysteria was that Industrial Man was returning us to a new Ice Age, one that would mean mass death for many people the world over, particularly those in the coldest climes. In the 1980s, when their predictions failed to materialize and global temps began to rise, the greens turned to a new hysteria, “global warming,” and propagandized it with pictures of Mother Earth going up in flames — i.e., an inferno courtesy of Industrial Man.

Now that the cycle of cooling is apparently on again, the greens — having anticipated its return — have reverted to calling our supposed weather crisis “climate change.” It’s a transparent means of keeping themselves from getting trapped in the narrow boxes of using specific words such as “cooling” and “warming" to describe these man-made crises. They recognize the corner they’ve painted themselves in and have reverted to calling these natural climate fluctuations “change.” What a nice, broad, flexible word that can be bent to mean anything at any time! If the global climate trend is starting to return back to cooling, once again, this is no problem for the greens. They’ll just call it “climate change” ” — i.e., shifts in weather patterns. The term “climate change” allows them the flexibility to make any changes in the weather appear as if they are unnatural, chaotic and, of course, due to Industrial Man.

We cannot let the environmentalist get away with this shift from the narrow, specific term “global warming” to “climate change.” We have to remind the environmentalists that an Ice Age did not occur after their hysterical cries of “global cooling” in the 1970s, that the earth did not fry after their cries of “global warming” the past few decades, that the weather has always and always will “change," and that "climate changes" is meaningless term.

Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York.

Please post comments about this article. For inquiries about Joseph Kellard’s writing services, email him at:

Don't Forget: Praise the Good

By Joseph Kellard

Overall, in the grand scheme of things, I’ve found that it's more important to spend your time supporting the good than condemning the bad. In the long run, it encourages more of the good, and you're more likely to get that from those who are already preaching the correct policies, than with those you're condemning and perhaps trying to persuade to see things more rationally.

That's why I've posted this email I sent to Caroline Baum, who wrote a column for Bloomberg News called "John Galt Plan Might Save U.S. Financial System." Baum hedges at the end of her column, suggesting there is still a place for the government to get involved in the economy--a "backstop"--but it's unclear exactly what she means. I decided to go ahead and praise here nevertheless for her support of capitalism. And I’ve posted this email here to encourage OActivists to spend more time praising the good wherever and whenever they appear.

Hello Caroline Baum,

I wanted to thank you for having the courage to assert the John Galt plan to save the economy. To essentially state that there should be a separation between economy and state takes courage in today's alarmingly statist environment that is seemingly morphing non-stop. The post-Enron anti-freedom regulations are perhaps the most damaging of these interventionist measures.

Please know that there are principled people out here, even if only a small minority, that support you on this plan, and we're doing our best to battle the statists who are doing everything to smear and stop our pro-freedom take on the economy--not to mention our entire Objectivist philosophy.

Please stand by your plan and soldier on.

Joseph Kellard

Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York.

Please post comments about this article. For inquiries about Joseph Kellard’s writing services, email him at:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Letter to Times on Castro-Communist Apologists

I sent the following letter to the New York Times regarding a good article the newspaper published on the evasions of American leftists and Cuban apologists of communism and Fidel Castro.

To the Editor:

It is good to see the New York Times publish an article about how American leftists and Cuban apologists for Castro continue to evade the harsh realities of his communist regime (“For Those Who Fled, a Retort to Cuba,” by David Gonzalez, March 10).

However, I would have liked to have seen those realities spelled out in more detail, beyond just the arrest and jailing of some dissidents, and I could do without the underhanded championing of Cuba’s supposedly superior educational and medical industries. (Cuban “education,” for starters, comes with a heavy dose of communist indoctrination, and the medical care is characterized by shortage of inferior services and materials typical of socialist systems.)

Nevertheless, the Times appears to be coming more and more to terms with the anti-human life existence under communist regimes (at least in Cuba and the Soviet Union) that others, such as philosopher and author Ayn Rand, knew and wrote about for many decades before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Joseph Kellard
East Meadow, NY

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Letter on Iran to Commentary magazine

The following is a letter I wrote to Commentary magazine, in response to an essay on Iran in last month’s issue.

To the Editor:

The problem with Norman Podhoretz’s essay “Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands” (February 2008) is that it is too timid.

In the debate over gun control in this nation, some Americans who uphold the Second Amendment properly point out that guns don’t kill people, people do. And that also holds true for nuclear weapons — it’s not the weapons per se that are the danger, but the people who possess them. Podhoretz’s essay is premised on the false alternative of whether or not the United States should bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. This is a false option because even if the administration or another did bomb those targets, the “people” -- that is, the American-hating Islamic fanatics that rule Iran -- would nevertheless live another day to rebuild those facilities, or import nuclear capabilities from other dictatorial regimes that threaten us and other free people.

The case for bombing Iran is unquestionable, given the war its regime has waged on America for nearly 30 years (including in Iraq and Afghanistan today). The only question to rationally debate is to what extent our so-called leaders need to bomb the ruling mullahs and ayatollahs, their nuclear facilities and their mosques and schools that preach “death to America.” Only when we use devastating force against them will their threat to America be eliminated.

Joseph Kellard
East Meadow, New York