Entries in Bill of Rights (13)

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!

Thursday
Mar012018

Brady gang rallies for Democrat who stalked women

Sussex County Democrats and the Brady gang have come to the defense of Democrat Assemblyman Raj Mukherji.  Raj has little time for the Bill of Rights or the Second Amendment and he's been under attack recently for his role in trying to take away the ability of women and vulnerable adults to defend themselves against attackers.  Raj has a controversial history in this regard, as this video makes clear...

  

Earlier this week, the Sussex County Democrats enlisted the help of Bridgegate Mastermind David Wildstein in an attempt to take the focus off Democrat Assemblyman Raj Mukherji.  The Sussex Democrats released their statement Wednesday morning at 11am.

The Brady gang called for a rally the same day, after Assembly Democrats in New Jersey formally adopted President Trump's position in respect of the Bill of Rights.  Donald Trump said. "Take the guns first, go through due process second," and the Assembly Democrats agreed, passing Assembly Bill 1217 out of committee.  Raj Mukherji is a key proponent of this legislation.

Trump made his comments at a meeting with congressional leaders on school safety.  Trump was responding to comments from Vice President Pence that families and local law enforcement should have more tools to report potentially dangerous individuals with weapons. 

Pence was taking the Bill of Rights into consideration, when he said:  "Allow due process so no one’s rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons."  To which Trump responded:  "Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court."

About the same time as Trump was making his controversial statement, the Democrats on the Assembly Judiciary Committee were passing the "Extreme Risk Protection Order" (Assembly Bill 1217),  which suspends due process based on a simple accusation.  A no-knock warrant could be issued, the door of a home or place of business kicked-in, and the property of someone who hasn't been accused of breaking any law seized -- just because a "family member" or "member of law enforcement" believed he or she posed a risk.

Conservative Republican Steve Lonegan offered the following testimony on Assembly Bill 1217:

"In 1971, a group of possibly well-meaning but misguided politicians imposed the Civil Authorities Special Powers Act, which allowed government to take away peoples' rights without charging them with a crime.  It was meant to be a response to violence, but only made matters worse in Northern Ireland.

In considering Assembly Bill 1217, the New Jersey Legislature should recall the words of George Will, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, who reminded us of the dangers of 'overcriminalization.'  After the death of Eric Garner, which was the result of the New York Legislature sending in the police to enforce a state tax on cigarettes, Will warned legislators that there are potentially grave consequences every time they make a new law and then send in men with guns to enforce it.

Will said:  'Overcriminalization has become a national plague. And when more and more behaviors are criminalized, there are more and more occasions for police, who embody the state’s monopoly on legitimate violence, and who fully participate in humanity’s flaws, to make mistakes.'

Assembly Bill 1217 is open to abuse and has the potential to create many more situations with violent outcomes than those it seeks to prevent.  And, as written, there is no recourse or penalty if the law and its potentially violent outcome was triggered by a simple misunderstanding or a false or malicious report."

No president likes to give up power.  The last to do so, voluntarily, was Jimmy Carter -- and he did so under the shadow of the official criminality connected to the Watergate scandal.  President George W. Bush, President Obama, and President Trump have all expanded the state's power over the individual citizen.  The action by the Assembly Democrats reeks of the British government's desperate move to bring the Irish Republican Army to heel in the 1970's.  Instead of achieving their aim, they made victims out of innocent people and destroyed the reputation of their country's criminal justice system.

  

Let's not create a new set of victims like the Guildford Four -- only this time with names like the Newton Eleven or the Metuchen six or the Cape May seven...

  

This is how Republics perish.  This is how democracy dies.

Wednesday
Sep272017

Public shaming is bullying. Treat it the same.

The attempt by the powerful -- in the form of the corporate media and the dominant political class -- to force others to conform to their social values or face the loss of employment, economic security, and status is textbook bullying.  In the case of Assemblyman Parker Space, it is clear that the Republican holds tastes in music and is of a socio-economic class different from that of the dominant establishment class. 

 

Space is a country boy, a blue-collar farmer, a Trump supporter, and a believer in traditional values.  This makes him a target for establishment bullying.  As for the establishment's complaints that Space used a five-letter word in private conversation, this is simply a case of rank hypocrisy by individuals who use the same words and far-far-worse in private and in public, as evidenced below.

 

Again and again, we are told that in America, we are a nation of laws.  But this is being steadily eroded by corporate media and their puppets in the political class.  With the connivance of establishment political figures the corporate media are attempting to create an extra-judicial method of determining everything from whether or not you can hold a job or operate a business to serving in public office.

 

Under this informal, extra-judicial system, the accusers do not need to produce proof of their accusations, neither does the accused have the opportunity to refute the charges made in any legal setting.  In this bullying culture, corporate media whips up a frenzy of bullying -- mobbing -- in order to indict, convict, and punish someone. 

 

The accusers simply need to "feel" that someone has done something for reasons that they disapprove of.  Of course, these "feelings" must conform to the social norms of the establishment.  Conforming to establishment norms allows some people to believe that they have the right to fire someone from his or her job, or put someone out of business, or overturn the will of the voters.

 

This is a form of technological vigilantism -- a post-modern lynch mob -- with elements of religion to it.  For "apologize... apologize... apologize," read "repent... repent... repent."  And it was specifically warned against by prescient writers like George Orwell, with the neo-religious fervor whipped up in a shaming exercise very like the two-minutes hate he describes in his great work, 1984:

 

Think of it.  Political figures like Democrat Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg actually suggested that they could reach into another person's soul to determine evil there, adjudicate on said evil, and then demand that the will of the voters be overturned and said person be stripped of public office.  Mind you, the office-holder in question -- Assemblyman Parker Space -- is one of the most popular elected officials in New Jersey, as determined by the number of votes he receives, and gets more votes than any Republican legislator in the state.  So it does take a particular kind of philosophy, distinctly undemocratic, to suggest such a thing.

 

Also remember that no laws have been broken.  Unlike Senator Robert Menendez or Assemblyman Neil Cohen or Assemblyman Raj Mukerji or any one of a hundred New Jersey Democrats who actually broke the law, but who nevertheless enjoyed and enjoy the steadfast support of fellow Democrats, Assemblyman Parker Space did nothing even remotely illegal.  Fashion was breached perhaps -- the fashion held by some elites in a few, well-to-do enclaves -- but no laws were broken.  For the moment, our Bill of Rights and our First Amendment are holding firm -- but for how long?

 

If the media can use extra-judicial shaming to deny employment, ruin a business, or overturn an election, then they will have successfully undermined the Bill of Rights without recourse to a legal challenge before the United States Supreme Court.  It is a subversion of the law, and the imposition of punitive sanctions, through the use of fashion and media technology.  Through the use of it, America will no longer be a nation of laws, but rather a nation of fashions, manipulated by a corporate media controlled by the likes of Jared Kushner, the Newhouse brothers, and the corporate racists at Gannett News.  A bullying culture in which anyone who wishes to work, own a business, or hold office will have to conform to the establishment norms of the bullying class.