Entries in Bill of Rights (15)

Thursday
Jun142018

Trenton newspaper claims NJ safe? Not so fast…

The grandees on the editorial board of the world-famous Times newspaper of Trenton have been vigorously patting themselves on the back again.  Generally they are trying to convince themselves – and anyone who will listen – about how great a state New Jersey is and how fortunate they are to reside in or near that garden spot that is Trenton.  Delusions, yes, but these people are paid to keep writing, “More of the same.”

In the run-up to Governor Phil Murphy’s signing of a formal declaration of war on the Bill of Rights, generally, and the Second Amendment, individually, they came up with a column praising the new restrictions and linking them as part of a tradition:

“… former Gov. James Florio set New Jersey on course to adopt the country's strongest gun-safety laws, including a ban on a wide range of semi-automatic weapons.

This coming week, a successor, Gov. Phil Murphy, is expected to do his part to keep Garden State residents safe.”

We suggest the editorial board and the politicians take some sound advice on this before becoming too overly self-congratulatory…

Crime in New Jersey is pretty much the same as it was when Jim Florio’s anti-gun legislation went into effect.   Other states have seen dramatic reductions in the crime rate, but not New Jersey. 

Before Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani took over, New York City was synonymous with crime.  It was the city of the original “Death Wish” movies.  Giuliani’s new policing methods actually did result in a measurable and, more importantly, noticeable drop in crime.  Does anyone remember that happening in the wake of Florio’s virtue signaling?

New York City never went back to the high crime capital it once was.  And New Jersey’s cities never followed in New York’s footsteps.  Today, if you want to save some money and commute to New York from one of New Jersey’s neighboring big cities, you are taking your life in your hands.

New York City has 3.4 murders per 100,000 people.  Jersey City has 10.2 murders and Newark has 33.3 murders.  For Rape, those numbers are New York (14), Jersey City (17.6), and Newark (36.6).  Robbery… New York (198.2), Jersey City (207), and Newark (688.6).  And Burglary comes in with New York (164.9), Jersey City (368.1), and Newark (622).

So perhaps the self-congratulatory delusion is a bit early and we should have a serious discussion on what works to reduce crime rather than focusing on what feels good.

Friday
Jun082018

Is Freeholder Graham opposed to the First Amendment?

The Skylands blog is a sort of quasi-government mouthpiece for the Freeholder Board majority of Boss George Graham, Jonathan Rose, and Carl Lazzaro.  During the primary, Bergen County’s John McCann had the support of Graham, Rose, and Lazzaro.  Apparently, McCann paid Graham for services of some kind, as well as county lobbyist Virginia Newman Littell, who served as his campaign’s co-chair. 

These folks just concluded a primary campaign in which they described their fellow Republican, a woman, as everything from a “pole dancer” to a “terrorist” – and suggested she “belonged in a cage” like an “animal”.  Real gentlemen, this lot. 

Now these politicians are suggesting that the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America be abrogated because they don’t like the Sussex County Watchdog website.  As Graham, Rose, and Lazzaro constitute a clear majority of the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders – and as they exercise control over the Skylands website – this could be construed as an act of county government.  More on this later… 

The McCann team (Graham, Rose, Lazzaro, and Littell) is suggesting that having won the Republican primary on June 5th, that their candidate be immune from any negative commentary from this website.  In reply to this we suggest that you look carefully at our name.  Where do you see the word “Republican”? 

Sussex County Watchdog is not an organ of any political party.  Unlike the Skylands blog, it is not under the control of any elected official or party.  We are an agency of reform.  Any member of the public may contribute an article to Watchdog and we will publish it.  We do not ask if they belong to the Republican Party or to indeed any party. 

We find it curious that these elected Republicans are making this point.  After last year’s primary for freeholder, these elected Republicans refused to support the Republican nominee, Herb Yardley.  Instead, they provided support to the liberal Democrat nominee, Dan Perez.  

At the time, John McCann was asked to assist Republican Herb Yardley in his campaign.  Unfortunately, McCann was employed by the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County and he wasn’t allowed to help a Republican.  

Their blog, the Skylands blog, ran a vicious campaign of personal smearing against Assemblyman Parker Space, Republican State Committeewoman Jill Space, the Space family, and the employees of Space Farms.  For this, Watchdog dubbed them “the creatures from the toilet” and so they remain.  Did it never occur to these elected Republicans that their campaign against Assemblyman Space was conducted concurrently with the Democrat Party’s campaign to unseat him and replace him with a far-leftist?  If it did, they apparently didn’t care.

So we find it humorous that these politicians suggest that a non-partisan blog be more loyal to the Republican Party than they have ever been.  

Of course, if they would like to make their arguments in writing, we would be more than happy to furnish them space on this website to do so.  Again, we are open to all points of view, all opinions.  

John McCann, as a licensed attorney in several states, should know better than to try to muscle or muzzle or restrain in any way the exercise of constitutionally protected civil rights.  This is not his first attempt.  We caution him.

Thursday
Apr122018

Extortion isn't the American way, but that doesn't stop some.

Sussex County Watchdog has been around since the spring of 2012.  Over the years, our efforts have stopped or brought to light many instances of public corruption.  These have included attempts to sell the county dump, the premature forcing of some county employees into retirement in order to use the money for new patronage employees, the corruption at the Sussex County Community College, the use of toxic chemicals near county employees, county spending and borrowing practices, county vendors and lobbyists, the county Solar scam, and the county's poor history with OPRA.  

Along the way, we've uncovered inside deals in the awarding of tax breaks and vendors' contracts, and the purchase of land.  On several occasions, Sussex County Watchdog led the way by contacting state and federal law enforcement, as it did during the solar scam -- when this website provided the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Attorney General's Office with background and material information. 

From time to time, our activities have made some insiders less than happy.  There is an all-too-cozy corruption at work at the county level.  Most counties in New Jersey are actually much more corrupt than Sussex is -- but, as in the Solar scam -- our county is being colonized by other counties interested in expanding their corruption here.  

Watchdog is important because we will act when corporate media is afraid to act because some important advertiser is at the core or connected with a matter.  We are anonymous because, in a county as cozy as Sussex is, it prevents direct retribution for exercising our First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.  Anonymous speech is as American as our Founders and has been protected through the centuries by the United States Supreme Court.

Nevertheless,  our efforts have been the target of extortion attempts -- of threats designed to coerce us to stop writing in a way that offends the extorter or to write in a way more favorable to the extorter.  We have always rejected such attempts, because extortion is not only a criminal act but an existential act.  As an act of coercion, it is designed to kill free will, and so is an enemy of freedom itself. 

Extortion is the crime of obtaining money, property, or services from an individual or institution, through coercion.

Most states define extortion as the gaining of property or money by almost any kind of force, or threat of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action. While usually viewed as a form of theft/larceny, extortion differs from robbery in that the threat in question does not pose an imminent physical danger to the victim. 

Extortion is a felony in all states. Blackmail is a form of extortion in which the threat is to expose embarrassing and damaging information to family, friends, or the public.  Inherent in this form of extortion is the threat to expose the details of someone's private life. 

Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force.   It involves a set of various types of actions that violate the free will of an individual to induce a desired response.  These actions may include, but are not limited to: extortion, blackmail, torture, threats to induce favors, or even sexual assault. In law, coercion is codified as a duress crime.  Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in a way contrary to their own interests. 

These crimes can take place over the telephone, via mail, text, email or other computer or wireless communication.  If any method of interstate commerce is used in the extortion, it can be a federal crime. 

As believers in the First Amendment and of the Bill of Rights, Sussex County Watchdog has always offered the liberty of our pages to any opposing point of view.  Write what you wish, and we will publish it.  We are an open forum, accessible to all.  And we offer anonymity to all who wish to publish.  We always have, and a few have made use of the liberty of our pages.  Some have stayed on as regular contributors.  

Unfortunately, there are many who don't want to be part of a free and open discussion.  They want to be able to exercise power, gain material benefit from the taxpayers, or seek power -- without scrutiny.  They don't want a discussion, they want power or a contract or taxpayers' money or status and they don't want to hear about it or have anyone asking questions.  These are the kinds of people who opt for extortion over the liberty of our pages. 

As one can readily appreciate, extortion is the realm of thug life, of wannabe Il Duces and Mafioso -- not of old political organizations and political families.  At least, it shouldn't be.  We have been surprised at some of the names connected with the latest attempt. 

Please allow us to provide counsel to our wannabe extorters, to those making the threats.  To those enemies of freedom, we say this:  The best way to address writing that you do not like is with more writing.  

Speech should be met with speech.  Not with threats, intimidation, coercion, and extortion.  Once you take that road there is only one way forward... as someone  who fears words, as the enemy of freedom, the book-burner, the hater of words and of journalism and of writing.  And where does it end?

It is a bloody path that you are choosing...

Thursday
Mar222018

General Majority PAC and NJ Democrats should give back Melgen money

Great work by the I-Team at NBC News 4 New York.  They are pushing politicians you took money from crook Salomon Melgen to give it to charity.  And they are getting results:

"New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said his campaign has given away $19,700 in donations it received from convicted Medicare cheat Dr. Salomon Melgen. Melgen was sentenced last month to 17 years in prison after prosecutors said he stole nearly $100 million from Medicare over the years."

But two organizations that haven't given the money back are the New Jersey Democrat State Committee and the General Majority PAC run by Sue McCue.  You remember Sue, don't you?  She's the far-left Democrat whose SuperPAC gave Republican legislators so much trouble the last few cycles.

For screwing over and defeating Republican legislators, McCue was rewarded by Governor Christie with an appointment to the Rutgers Board of Governors.  That's right, the two-party paradigm is an illusion in New Jersey.  Christie made the appointment as a genuflection to Democrat party super-boss George Norcross.

According to sworn statements she made to the federal government, Rutgers Governor Sue McCue did political consulting work for such decidedly un-progressive corporations as Walmart and the American Gaming Association, a national lobby group for the casino gambling industry.  McCue provided "consulting services" for Walmart and "public relations and policy consulting" for the gambling industry.  Both are described as ongoing "clients" of "Message Global" which is, according to McCue sworn statement, a company formed in 2009 that she owns in its entirety.

McCue was also pocketed consulting fees from the notorious lobby group that advocates for continued and unrestrained violence in entertainment, the Motion Picture Association of America.  McCue provides "consulting services" to this ongoing client of Message Global.

McCue also runs the Rutgers SuperPAC (AKA General Majority PAC) that inflicted serious damage on Republican legislators in Monmouth, Somerset, and Cape May counties.  One attack leveled at these legislators was their position on the Second Amendment.  It is deeply dishonest to not address the issue of gun control in its context of violence in our culture. 

Think about it.  France passed legislation a few years ago that bans overly thin models from the fashion industry because studies show that young women are influenced by the sight of these models to develop eating disorders.  Britain is banning the consumption of alcohol on broadcasts because government studies show that it leads to alcohol-related disorders.  Here in America, we have long banned tobacco commercials for the same reason.  But DC party gal McCue and her Rutgers SuperPAC would have us believe that subjecting an average child to 8,000 murders on TV before finishing elementary school and, by age eighteen, 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000 murders, has no effect on his or her development at all.

We've known that violent-content acts like a drug on childhood development since President Bill Clinton first highlighted the problem in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings.  He pointed to study after study and the marketing documents of the entertainment industry itself.  All the evidence was there.  Then he went further and ordered a study by the Federal Trade Commission.  The study, released on September 11, 2000, can be accessed below:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2000/09/ftc-releases-report-marketing-violent-entertainment-children

In response, the entertainment industry increased its campaign contributions by 1,000 percent and spent hundreds of millions on lobbying and soft money to convince Congress to forget every study it had read.  Then September 11, 2001, occurred and concerns over media violence were ignored in the run-up to war.

We are sick of watching self-righteous drug and violence advocates like Senator Loretta "Mother Roach" Weinberg happily allowing grandchildren to watch a Tarantino bloodbath on TV, while they strip single moms of the right to defend themselves and their children.  "Rely on the police," they are told when -- because of the economy people like the Senator has bestowed on them -- they must live and work in dangerous areas and police response times are simply too long.  You and your children can not hide for that long a time and expect to survive. 

Of course, the Senator and her colleagues have money and live in low crime areas with good police protection.  And although they work in Trenton, they work in buildings protected by dozens and dozens of men with guns.  Thick, burly, well-trained men who know how to kill if the need arises.  Politicians value their lives, even as they devalue the lives of everyone else.  As do the rich "activists" like the billionaire Bloomberg and all those Hollywood people and New York celebrities from the ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.

In 2019, Sue McCue and the Rutgers SuperPAC will again want to make a fashion statement that overturns the Bill of Rights and leaves the poor, working, and middle classes defenseless -- while she lobbies for an industry that makes wheelbarrows full of money feeding the culture of violence.  We need to be ready for her -- and make sure that she gags on her own attacks.


Wednesday
Mar142018

Democrats push Tax Hikes & Spending, trash 2nd Amendment

by Bill Collier 

Listening to Josh Gottheimer's ally and friend, Governor Murphy, speak in Trenton yesterday about his grandiose plans to tax our way to prosperity, as if that ever works,  one wonders how any moderate Democrat wouldn’t denounce such radical, out of touch ideas.

In a nutshell, Governor Murphy says yes to more taxes and regulations, massive spending, and more nanny state interference in our lives. As if New Jersey's taxpayers aren’t already paying more than enough and getting little value in return. Of course, the radical “progressive” agenda proclaimed by Murphy has not a moderate thread, something that SHOULD alarm Gottheimer but clearly doesn’t.

Murphy wants to change the temperature of the planet somehow by taxing and regulating you into poverty. He doesn’t want offshore drilling, conjuring images of disaster. He even wants to tell neighboring states not to do fracking. He is against energy independence, he thinks he can control the planet’s climate, and he is thumbing his nose at our neighbors.

He is also against the Bill of Rights, well, at least the second amendment. Like every tinhorn tyrant and milquetoast bureaucrat, he is afraid of average people having and exercising their God-given right to self-defense. He would prefer to disarm us so, if we face a threat, we can call 911 and die.

So, he is against the Bill of Rights (because if you oppose one, you oppose them all) and he is against energy independence. He is against you spending your own money. But he is for lining the pockets of the bureaucracy, who get paid to run the many programs he imagines we need to save us, and who will also benefit from his mad effort to change the global temperature.

And where is his pal, Gottheimer? Gottheimer is in the corner, pretending he is NONE OF THAT CRAZY. But he is. He is all about everything Murphy, Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi are about. As he pretends to be a “problem solver”, perhaps he could burnish his credentials and denounce the radical nonsense his friend and ally Governor Murphy dumped on New Jersey in yesterday's speech!