The Court Got It Right

The Covid lockdown resulted in one of the largest transfers of wealth from small business owners to large corporations. In many cases, that was the result of the fact that the small business owners could not comply with the myriad regulations in a cost-effective way. Many small restaurants are gone forever, and many boutique dress shops are closed. One business that refused to shut down (and frequently made the news) was the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey. The co-owner, Ian Smith, was charged with 80 charges stemming from keeping his gym open despite Democrat Governor Phil Murphy’s tyrannical COVID-19 lockdown orders.

On Sunday, The Gateway Pundit posted an update on the case.

The article reports:

Ian Smith, co-owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, has achieved a monumental victory. A New Jersey court has dismissed all 80 charges against him, charges that stemmed from his bold decision to reopen his gym in direct defiance of Democrat Governor Phil Murphy’s tyrannical COVID-19 lockdown orders.

The saga began in May 2020, when Smith reopened Atilis Gym, challenging the Murphy administration’s mandates, which he and his supporters argue are unconstitutional and detrimental to small businesses.

The confrontation escalated in July 2020 when police officers forcefully arrested Smith after he continually violated the state’s shutdown orders.

A swarm of police officers burst through the door of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey arrested the owners for violating Governor Murphy’s authoritarian shutdown order.

The article reminds us of the extreme actions of the Governor:

The state’s aggressive response did not end with the arrest. In a controversial move, Governor Murphy and his administration seized $165,000 from the gym’s accounts—funds that Smith claims were amassed through donations and apparel sales to support the gym’s legal battles. This act was a punitive strike meant to cripple the gym financially and serve as a stern warning to others who might consider similar defiance.

“Governor Phil Murphy seized 100% of our assets today – $165k, all of which came from donations and apparel sales. This is done in the middle of ongoing litigation defending ourselves against these fines, our 80 charges, the revocation of our business license, and the unconstitutional health department shutdown.⁣ This was never about protection, it was always about control,” said Smith in a video statement in January 2021.

The article concludes:

Special thanks to our fearless attorneys – John McCann and Giancarlo Ghione. Some of the most high profile attorneys around the country ran from our case – knowing it would be a long, hard road and would make them a target of the stare. These two gentlemen stood with us through the darkest days of the storm, have not flinched, and never once cared about being in front of cameras to gain notoriety from their work.

More updates later.

Nobody is coming to save you, save yourself. Spit on your hands and hoist the black flag. No quarter.

We win by standing strong and calling out unconstitutional laws.

Keeping The SALT Limit Where It Is

On Wednesday, Yahoo News posted an article about a bill to change the SALT deduction. The bill failed in the House of Representatives. The SALT deduction is the State and Local Tax deduction that President Trump capped at $10,000. High-tax states like New York, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania want the limit higher. That way when they charge their residents exorbitant tax rates, the residents can deduct those taxes on their federal income tax. In some high-tax states, just the real estate taxes on an average home are over $10,000. Generally, allowing higher SALT deductions is a gift to wealthy people and to people who live in high-tax states. In a sense, lower-tax states are funding the spending of the higher-tax states.

The article at Yahoo states:

A bill called the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act, which would have raised the tax cap for some married filers and ease some of the burden in high-tax states like New York, was on the table in the House of Representatives. But it was rejected before it could even be formally considered.

“I’m hopeful this can be a moment of unity among my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Rep. Mike Lawler (R.-N.Y.), the bill’s lead sponsor, as the debate got underway on Wednesday afternoon.

But — as was widely expected — it was not to be, with both Republicans and Democrats voting against the bill as it failed to garner agreement in a procedural vote.

The final vote on adopting a combined rule was rejected in a tally of 195-225, a defeat that is likely the end of the bill for the time being.

While I agree that all of our taxes should go down, limiting the SALT deduction was a way to hold high-tax states more accountable.

When Taking Bribes, Make Sure The Origin Of The Product Is Not Traceable

When taking bribes, unmarked bills are a good idea, other things can be risky–gold bars, for instance, have serial numbers. New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez really should have considered that.

On December 4th, The New York Post reported the following:

Four of the gold bars Sen. Bob Menendez stashed at his home were previously stolen from the businessman accused of bribing the New Jersey Democrat, according to a report. 

The serial numbers on some of the gold found by the FBI during a June 2022 raid on Menendez’s Englewood Cliffs, NJ, home match identifiers that Fred Daibes reported to police after a 2013 armed robbery, according to NBC News

Robbers made off with $500,000 in cash and 22 gold bars from Daibes’ Edgewater, NJ, home during the 2013 heist, the outlet reports.

Police later nabbed four suspects and recovered the stolen gold. 

The matching serial numbers indicate that authorities have directly linked at least some of the gold found in Menendez’s home to Daibes, a New Jersey real estate developer and Menendez fundraiser.

Daibes has been accused of bribing the senator for a series of favors, including help in disrupting a federal prosecution against him. 

“Each gold bar has its own serial number,” Daibes told investigators in 2014 when questioned about the stolen gold. “They’re all stamped … you’ll never see two stamped the same way.”

The article concludes:

Menendez has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has refused to resign from the Senate, despite numerous calls for him to do so, even from fellow Democrats. 

Menendez and his wife are accused of accepting bribes from Daibes in exchange for the senator’s help shielding him from criminal prosecution in a bank fraud case.

The New Jersey Democrat allegedly helped Daibes by recommending President Biden pick Philip Sellinger, who the senator believed would apply a light touch to the case, for the post of New Jersey US attorney. 

If convicted on all charges, Menendez faces up to 45 years in prison.

I guess if you are a Democrat, you just don’t plan on having your house searched or a swat team arrive at six o’clock in the morning.

Ignoring The Sunshine Laws

Most states have ‘sunshine laws’ that allow the public to attend meetings or various legislative groups and boards. Generally speaking the public has the right to observe what their government is doing.

On Thursday, BizPacReview posted an article about what happened when a member of the press demanded that those laws be enforced.

The article reports:

Investigative journalist James O’Keefe has released bombshell police bodycam footage showing New Jersey school board officials colluding with the police to target “Trumpish” school board hearing attendees.

According to O’Keefe, head of O’Keefe Media Group (OMG), the footage offers “the most riveting and fascinating psychological case studies into what school board officials, superintendents, and cops are saying, thinking, and believing about you.”

The article contains a video (posted on Twitter) of a recent incident:

The article includes the following:

“There’s a group of about nine men. They’re there, they’re on their phones, they’ve never been there before. It was just a little bit of a concern,” one official could be heard saying in a recorded 911 call that was made that day.

“There’s about eight of them, and none of our administrators recognize them as past students. They’re not parents. They’re different-looking. Some look Trumpish. They look a little scary,” the same official, identified as executive assistant to the superintendent Toni McLaughlin, later told a responding officer.

What does Trumpish look like? School boards are under scrutiny right now because of the trash they are feeding our children. This is the time that parents and concerned citizens needs to be a school board meetings to find out what their children are learning and what is in the school libraries. If we are going to turn this country around, we need to include changing much of what is being taught to our children.

A Lot Of Information In One Place

On July 1st, The Gateway Pundit posted an article detailing all of the fraud discovered in the various investigations of the 2020 election. It is a long, well-documented article and should be read by every American. Please follow the link to read the entire article. If we don’t fix 2020, our future elections will be fixed!

Here are a few highlights:

Examples of ENR (Election Night Reporting) anomalies include one viewer noticing an exact 19,958 vote switch from Trump to Biden that occurred in Pennsylvania, and another observing 351,000 votes disappearing in the vote totals during the recall election of California governor, Gavin Newsom.

But what became the most famous and unexplainable ENR phenomenon were the datasets showing thousands of votes being injected for one candidate, while simultaneously showing a negligible or nonexistent increase for the other candidate. This became known as the “F- Curve” or “Fraud Curve” in election integrity circles because of the shape the curves made in the plot of total votes for each candidate over the election count:

Unsurprisingly, after the F-Curve materialized in the ENR datasets, the losing candidate would leap ahead to victory – typically in the middle of the night.  The swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania all exhibited an F-Curve after each had stopped counting at around 10 pm on November 3, 2020.

At the TCF Center in Detroit for example, Michigan, surveillance video showed a white van delivering thousands of ballots in the middle of the night, well after the delivery deadline, at the same time an F-Curve showed up in Michigan’s ENR data.

The article also includes testimony from a postal worker who transported ballots from New Jersey to Pennsylvania in late October and other odd occurrences involving the post office’s handling of ballots.

The article concludes with information on the connection between the Secure Online Voting and Innovative Election Solutions | Scytl , a Spanish provider of electronic voting systems and election technology, and Konnech.

The article notes:

Scytl also has an unfortunate connection to Konnech through a man named Luis Nabergoi-Puente who lives in Spain and has been Konnech’s Worldwide Technical Director as well as a program manager at Scytl.

…Konnech is an election company who claims to have distributed its software to “thousands of election offices across North America,” but have also been proven to be storing sensitive election worker information in China, as well as giving Chinese nationals full access to their software. (https://open.ink/konnech)

Konnech’s illegal connections to China were discovered by True the Vote.  After the information reached the Washington D.C. FBI headquarters and after the D.C. office got involved, the FBI did everything possible to shut down the investigation into Konnech and implicate the researchers who discovered the breach.

There is a powerful force behind Scytl, Edison and Clarity. How they ever obtained influence in US elections is not clear.  Their activities in US elections are suspect at best as well. 

Please read the article.

 

 

Do Parents Have The Right To Raise Their Children?

On Tuesday, The Gateway Pundit reported the following:

Three school districts in the state of New Jersey require parental notification if a child begins transitioning their gender. As a result, they are being sued by the state.

This is outrageous and shows that concerned parents who have been showing up at school board meetings in recent years had every right to be worried about where things are going.

Imagine such a monumental thing happening to your child and the school you fund with your tax dollars hiding it from you.

The article quotes The College Fix:

The state of New Jersey is suing three school districts that require parents be notified “when gender-nonconforming students wish to change their names, be called by new pronouns, or request other accommodations.”

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin filed civil rights complaints against the Middletown Township, Marlboro Township and Manalapan-Englishtown Regional districts this past week, mere hours after the districts had approved the policies.

The College Fix notes the discrepancy in this policy:

Platkin said in a statement that the state “will not tolerate any action by schools that threatens the health and safety” of children. He called the districts’ policies “discriminatory” and said they were a “severe risk” to trans and non-binary students.

Five years ago the New Jersey Department of Education issued regulations making gender-based decisions dependent upon students, not parents. New Jersey and federal law “require schools to ensure a safe and supportive environment for transgender students.”

If a student wants a Tylenol for a headache, however, his/her parent must be notified.

If a child wants to get his/her ears pierced before the age of 16, a parent’s permission is needed. Why are we letting schools encourage drugs or surgery that result in major physical changes to the students without notifying the student’s parents?

School Mask Mandates Are Ending In Four States

On Tuesday, NewsMax reported that governors in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon will be ending statewide mask requirements in schools by the end of February or March. The mask mandates are ending because the number of Omicron cases has drastically declined.

The article reports:

The changes also come amid a growing sense that the virus is never going to go away and Americans need to find a way to coexist with it. And it was noted by some observers that blue-state leaders were moving to act in favor of relaxing COVID restrictions ahead of a midterm election cycle in which several polls suggest Dems may incur heavy losses, perhaps losing control of one or both chambers of Congress. One reason Republicans are gaining traction: concern over overly restrictive and protracted pandemic mandates.

So is this politics or science?

The article notes:

In a statement, the union (New Jersey Education Association, the state’s biggest teachers union) noted that trends show COVID-19 heading in the right direction, and added: “It is appropriate for Gov. Murphy to allow local districts to continue to require masking in communities where that is prudent based on local conditions.”

Nationwide, new COVID-19 cases per day have plunged by more than a half-million since mid-January, when they hit a record-shattering peak of more than 800,000. Cases have been declining in 47 states over the past two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Also, the number of Americans in the hospital with COVID-19 has fallen 28% since mid-January to about 111,000.

Deaths are still running high at more than 2,400 per day on average, the most since last winter, reflecting a lag between when victims become infected and when they die.

The article notes that the end of the mandates does not necessarily mean the end of masking:

In New Jersey, it is unclear how many and how soon the state’s 600-plus school districts might end the wearing of masks.

In Paterson, the state’s third-biggest city, the school system will take time to consult with administration officials, principals, parents and staff, said district spokesperson Paul Brubaker.

Melissa Alfieri-Collins, a mother of two who disagrees with mask mandates in schools, saying she prefers “choice,” called the governor’s decision good news. But she raised concern that districts might keep mask rules in place.

“For this reason, parents need an opt-out option for when and if districts do this,” she said.

Connecticut will also allow school districts to retain the mandate. It’s unclear if Delaware will follow suit, but the governor said he wanted to give school districts time to consider a local mandate.

I suspect we will see other states suspend their mask mandates as we get closer to the  mid-term election.

Further Shenanigans In New Jersey

New Jersey has never been known for election integrity. I recently posted an article about some shenanigans in Essex County. Now there are some serious questions about the election of Republican Edward Durr as New Jersey Senate President.

Townhall is reporting the following today:

Leah has covered this New Jersey race extensively. It’s a state senate seat so it doesn’t get much attention but if you live in the Garden State, this is a huge upset. This is the New York Giants beating the Patriots in Super Bowl 42. New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney appears to have been beaten by a no-name Republican Edward Durr, who spent less than $100 to beat Sweeney. I’m deducting the $67 he spent at Dunkin’ Donuts. I’ve lived in New Jersey for most of my life. Sweeney owns South Jersey. He’s the labor union’s top guy there. He controls that campaign cash. No governor can get much down without his blessing either. To get clipped likes this, really highlights the miserable election night Democrats had this cycle. So, why hasn’t he conceded yet? Well, 12,000 ballots just magically appeared. Sorry, they were “recently found.”

The article concludes:

Now, no matter what happens, there will always be the aura of funny business in this election. And to no one’s surprise, it was the Democrats who started it.

As a child, I lived in Jersey City for a short period of time. I remember my parents telling me that the people walking through the cemetery with clipboards in late summer and early fall were collecting names off of the gravestones to be registered as voters in November. I don’t know if that was true, but it was definitely the urban legend of its time. I suspect there are a lot of major cities in America that would do well to clean up their voter rolls.

Shenanigans In New Jersey

New Jersey elections have never been known for their integrity, but sometimes it defies the imagination. Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article about some recent election shenanigans in New Jersey.

The article reports:

After the chaos of the 2020 election and subsequent months of controversy and scrutiny over election integrity, you would think every local election office in the nation would be doing its best to maintain full transparency and conduct elections without error.

Apparently, officials in Essex County, New Jersey, didn’t seem to think so.

Currently, an investigation is ongoing to determine why a “poll worker error” led to 56 districts within the county not counting their votes on time after poll workers in several cities shut down 56 voting machines without them first being counted, according to News 12 The Bronx.

Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin has made it clear that the machines are currently locked safely away.

Sure they are.

The article continues:

“Those machines are at the polling places right now,” Durkin said according to News 12 The Bronx.

“Those machines have to be brought back to the warehouse. A judge will issue an order for us to open those machines, retrieve the results and post those results.”

“We need to compile a list of the results that are missing, then need to schedule a hearing in front of a judge and then the judge issued the order and then we’re able to go and retrieve those results.”

Now, we should make this clear up front: None of this will change the results of the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

However, the truck drive set to become Senate President might do well to be worried.

The article states that there is no evidence to prove that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The fact is that there is evidence. To say otherwise is fake news. However, the conclusion of the article below is correct.

The article concludes:

That being said, we saw numerous smaller, localized examples of election fraud and various irregularities in the vote.

There is no doubt that American elections could and should be more secure. Don’t let Democrats or leftists tell you any different.

If the counties that have been called into question in both the 2020 election and elections since then had simply been transparent with the public and taken the time and effort to shore up their processes, there wouldn’t be a problem.

Unfortunately, too many county election officials can’t be counted on to actually do their jobs.

When Justice Disappears

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about the investigation into coronavirus deaths in nursing homes in any of the states run by Democrat governors. It’s interesting that it’s the Democrat governors who sent the elderly coronavirus patients into nursing homes.

The article reports:

The U.S. Department of Justice has opted against investigating any of the Democrat governors who last year ordered nursing homes to accept residents who tested positive for COVID-19 against the recommendations of health groups.

Federal officials reviewed information they received from New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey last year regarding the orders.

Based on the review, they’re not opening Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) investigations in the first three states, Joe Gaeta, deputy assistant attorney general, told Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) in a letter on Friday.

The act enables the attorney general to launch a case in court against a state or local government, or its employees or agents, when officials suspect or find that people in institutions owned or run by such a government have had their rights denied.

The article continues:

The CDC issued guidance in March 2020, before the orders were released, saying COVID-positive patients could be released from healthcare facilities to long-term care facilities but if that happened, the facilities should be equipped with “adequate personal protective equipment supplies and an ability to adhere to infection prevention and control recommendations for the care of COVID-19 patients.”

“Preferably, the patient would be placed at a facility that has already cared for COVID-19 cases, in a specific unit designated to care for COVID-19 residents,” the guidance stated.

The orders in question were imposed by Cuomo and the others early in the COVID-19 pandemic. They informed nursing home operators that they could not turn away residents solely on the basis of a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.

Health groups like The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine warned against the orders, stating in a resolution in March 2020 that “admitting patients with suspected or documented COVID-19 infection represents a clear and present danger to all of the residents of a nursing home.”

Large percentages of deaths pinned to COVID-19 in the four states took place among nursing homes.

We no longer have equal justice under the law in America.

If You Ever Wondered About The Insanity Of The Media…

Recently MSN reported that the personal finance website WalletHub has named New Jersey as the best state in the nation in which to live. Just for the record, New Jersey was one of sixteen states that lost population in the 2020 census. (article here).

The article at MSN reports:

The report evaluated states based on five equally weighted categories — affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life and safety.

Of all 50 states, New Jersey placed number one in safety, fifth in the “Education and Health” category, and seventh for quality of life. The state did not rank as high in the other two categories: it took 32nd place for its economy and came in second-to-last for affordability. 

So a financial site chose as the best state in the nation to live in a state the came in 32nd for its economy and second-to-last for affordability. Wow.  Somehow I don’t think that choice reflects fiscal responsibility. I am sure they could have found states with reasonable numbers in safety, education and health that are more affordable.

The article at MSN continues:

Following New Jersey, the study rated Massachusetts and New York the second and third-best states to live in, respectively. Idaho and Minnesota rounded out the top five. The worst? New Mexico, aka The Land of Enchantment.

Massachusetts and New York both lost population in the 2020 census.

If nothing else, this article shows the contrast between the point of view from the ‘experts’ and the people who actually work for a living and live in America.

This Is Not Going To End Well

CBS News is reporting today that Oregon is the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

The article reports:

The Oregon drug initiative will allow people arrested with small amounts of hard drugs to avoid going to trial, and possible jail time, by paying a $100 fine and attending an addiction recovery program. The treatment centers will be funded by revenues from legalized marijuana, which was approved in Oregon several years ago.

“Today’s victory is a landmark declaration that the time has come to stop criminalizing people for drug use,” said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which backed the measure.

…Voters in New Jersey and Arizona approved measures legalizing marijuana for adults age 21 and older. In New Jersey, the Legislature now will have to pass another measure setting up the new marijuana marketplace. The Arizona measure also allows people convicted of certain marijuana crimes to seek expungement of their records. The passage of the measure signaled a change of attitudes, after Arizona voters narrowly defeated a legal pot proposal in 2016.

South Dakota on Tuesday became the first state where voters authorized both recreational marijuana and medical marijuana via two separate initiatives in the same election. The legalization of recreational marijuana was approved by voters in Montana, and medical marijuana won approval in Mississippi.

I am not in favor of the legalization of marijuana. There are no guarantees that legal marijuana will be limited to those over 21–how many people under the age of 21 smoke cigarettes illegally? I am not convinced we understand the effect of marijuana on the brain of people under the age of 25. Legalizing marijuana does not improve our society–it simply reduces the productive impact of one sector of that society. Marijuana and other drugs have never been a positive force in any society.

When Facts Get In The Way

Just the News posted an article yesterday dealing with presidential candidate Joe Biden’s claims about President Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

As Democrats and their presidential nominee Joe Biden gear up to attack the president’s response to COVID-19, they must grapple with a harsh reality: a third of all U.S. coronavirus deaths occurred in just three states controlled exclusively by Democrats.

Biden has sharply criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic since the first case was confirmed in the U.S. in late January. The Democratic presidential candidate claimed last week that Trump has allowed the disease to ravage the country and kill more than 170,000 citizens.

“Just judge this president on the facts,” Biden said during his acceptance speech during the Democratic National Convention. “Five million Americans infected with COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.”

The article notes two important aspects of that number:

Biden’s assessment is only partly factual. The U.S. has indeed recorded the highest total number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, but adjusted for population the nation falls to number 10, behind numerous countries in Europe and South America, including the United Kingdsom and Spain.

Perhaps more notably, more than a third of the American deaths Biden cited have occurred in the Democrat-run states of New York, New Jersey and California.

The article concludes:

A range of policies appear to have had varied effects elsewhere. California, another Democratic stronghold, has also been under strict lockdown measures for months, and its adjusted death rate is comparatively low at number 28 in the nation. South Dakota, whose Republican governor has famously refused to institute the lockdown measures of most other states, is even better at number 39.

As November approaches, Biden may continue to criticize the U.S. as having “the worst performance” of any country worldwide, with the blame laid at the feet of the current Republican administration. Democratic-run New Jersey and New York’s respective adjusted death tolls, meanwhile, both remain roughly three times the national average.

One things the article does not mention is the fact that Governor Cuomo of New York sent infected patients into nursing homes. That fact alone resulted in huge numbers of virus deaths. I am hopeful that many Americans will see through the false claims of Joe Biden. Our future depends on it.

Upholding The Constitution

The New York Post is reporting today that the Supreme Court has ruled that Presidential electors must cast their votes for the person who won the majority of the votes in their state.

The article reports:

The ruling, just under four months before the 2020 election, leaves in place laws in 32 states and the District of Columbia that bind their share of the 538 electors to vote for the states’ popular-vote winner.

The states’ Electors almost always do so anyway.

The unanimous decision in the “faithless elector” case was a defeat for those who want to change the Electoral College, and who believed a win would lead to presidential elections based on the popular or total number of votes.

But it was a win for state election officials who feared that giving more power to electors to make their own choice would cause chaos — and even lead to attempted bribery.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court that a state may instruct “electors that they have no ground for reversing the vote of millions of its citizens. That direction accords with the Constitution — as well as with the trust of a Nation that here, We the People rule.”

The justices had scheduled arguments for the spring so they could resolve the issue before the election, rather than amid a potential political crisis after the country votes.

This was a unanimous decision. When was the last time all the justices on the Supreme Court agreed on anything?

This decision makes sense if you understand the purpose of the Electoral College. The Electoral College was put in place by our Founding Fathers so that a group of densely populated states would not be able to elect a President without the support of less populated states. Without the Electoral College, New York, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut would elect our President. Smaller states would never see a candidate, nor would their votes count. That is what the Electoral College was put in place to prevent.

This Should Be An Interesting House Race

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about one of the Democrat candidates for the 2nd U.S House district in New Jersey. The person currently holding this seat is Representative Jeff Van Drew, who recently switched from Democrat to Republican. The Democrat candidate is Amy Kennedy, ex-wife of former Representative Patrick Kennedy (son of Ted). Patrick Kennedy represented Rhode Island from 1995 to 2011. Patrick Kennedy has confessed to struggling with alcohol and has worked to combat drug addiction since leaving the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

Amy Kennedy released a video announcing her candidacy Monday.

What I see in that video is a candidate who knows exactly who she needs to win over to get elected – other women. She goes straight to our “moral compass” with a photo of Van Drew and Trump. She includes the soccer mom lingo of showing kindness, treat others with respect, and show compassion. All of this is heard in every household with kids every day. Then she pivots to the economy. She says people in south Jersey can’t find jobs. According to this chart, unemployment is higher in south New Jersey than the northern part of the state where it is more industrialized. The ‘richest corporations” she references are located further north. South New Jersey is more rural and always has been. Back in my college days, my first roommate was from Bridgeton. Her family owned a farm and her parents were active Republicans. In other words, it is traditionally a conservative part of New Jersey. Apparently, Kennedy thinks that inserting some far-left class warfare into the race is the way to go.

She speaks to the deregulation of the energy industry and mentions climate change. She’s really checking off all the boxes, isn’t she? She goes on to mention the mental health and addiction epidemic, too. “We continue to ignore the biggest public health emergency of our time — the mental health and addiction crisis that affects virtually every family.” Well, at least she didn’t succumb to the opinion of the most woke among us and say that climate change is the biggest emergency of our time. That will probably come later.

The video overall will certainly appeal to the audience for which she strives. She’s a former teacher and the mother of five. She’s the mom next door. She can fight the patriarchy and the bad Orange Man without breaking a sweat. Liberal voters are not prone to hold Kennedys morally accountable as they do conservatives. Conservatives see the irony of a Kennedy lecturing about the loss of morality in public life but liberals do not. We only have to look to the career of her father-in-law to see that.

It will be interesting to see how the voters of New Jersey react to Representative Jeff Van Drew’s decision to become a Republican and how they react to the candidacy of Amy Kennedy.

Seeing The Danger

The Daily Caller is reporting today that Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),  has ordered a review of state laws that allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses and restrict data sharing with federal immigration authorities.

The article reports:

The memo follows implementation of New York’s “Green Light” law, and passage of a similar bill in New Jersey in December. Both laws not only allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, but also restrict DMV data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other agencies within the Department of Homeland Security.

The allowing of illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses combined with the 1993 Motor Voter Law is an invitation to voter fraud. That is one of many reasons why the trend of allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses needs to be reevaluated. The idea of states not cooperating with the federal government on issues of national security also needs to be examined.

The article concludes:

The memo also directs agencies to seek solutions for any security consequences that arise from the state laws.

“Never before in our history have we seen politicians make such rash and dangerous decisions to end all communication and cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security law enforcement,” Swift continued. “The Secretary is prepared to take every measure necessary to ensure the safety and security of the homeland and we look forward to the recommendations of our agents and officers in the field.”

These laws need to be struck down as soon as possible. Technically the states have the right to pass any laws they choose that do not violate the Constitution, but it is possible that the issue of national security may allow for these laws to be changed.

Insanity Made Legal

An article at New Jersey News 12 updated on December 23 reported that New Jersey birth certificates will now include a third, non-binary label come February 1.

The article reports:

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Babs Siperstein Bill into law last July.

The new legislation gives parents the option of choosing a gender-neutral or non-binary identity on their child’s birth certificate. It also allows adults to change the gender marker on their birth and death certificates, without proof of reassignment surgery.

“Just because your sex assigned at birth is one thing, it does not necessarily mean that it is something that’s going to be consistent with your gender identity throughout your life,” says Ashley Chiappano with the group Garden State Equality.

I would like to remind Ms. Chiappano that the sex assigned at birth is not randomly assigned–it is based on visible biological, scientific information.

The article concludes:

Chiappano says that there is a difference between sex and gender.

“Sex is more like a label. When we’re talking about sex, this is assignment by a doctor,” she says. “Gender identity goes even further to say that it’s how you feel on the inside and how you express yourself. It’s how you express yourself through your clothing, your behavior, your personal appearance.”

The new law is named after Edison resident Babs Siperstein, the first elected transgender member of the Democratic National Committee in 2012.

New Jersey joins Oregon, California and Washington, which have all approved similar legislation. New York City also just changed birth certificates to be gender neutral.

I totally reject the idea that sex is assigned by a doctor. It is designated on the basis of visual evidence. It is becoming obvious that in several states the inmates have taken over the asylum.

A Great Idea!

NewJersey.com is reporting that Island Beach State Park is accepting old Christmas trees (without lights or decorations) on Jan. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the A-23 parking lot. The trees will be used to protect the sands from erosion.

The article reports:

The old timber will protect the sands from erosion, and you’ll also avoid having to drag your tree to the side of the road, hoping it gets picked up.

Trees at the Shore can aid and improve the dune systems on the beaches by forming sand and soil erosion barriers, capturing sand that is pushed by northeasterly winds, staff said.

Staff will be onsite to help those donating their trees. For further information about the collection, contact Island Beach Nature Programs at 732-793-1315.

What a wonderful idea.

That is an idea that is also being put to use locally. If you live anywhere near the coast, please contact your town or county to see if they have a similar program. Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Dorian caused major beach erosion along the North Carolina coast, and we need to work on restoring the damaged sand dunes.

The Threat Is Still There

Yesterday NJ.com posted an article about Alexei Saab, 42, of Morristown, New Jersey, who was also known as Ali Hassan Saab, Alex Saab, and Rachid. Mr. Saab has been arrested for offenses related to his support of Hezbollah. He has been in custody since July.

The article reports:

A LinkedIn page identifies Saab as the director of information technology at a Morristown energy firm, which said he was terminated in July, but would not say why. He was also listed as an adjunct lecturer at Baruch College. Officials there did not immediately return calls for comment.

But the 33-page federal criminal complaint unsealed in New York on Thursday, replete with photos and diagrams purportedly collected as part of his alleged intelligence gathering mission, outlined a long-running operation that began long before he swore allegiance to the United States, and continued for years.

“Even though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to Hezbollah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

The article also notes:

Earlier this year, a federal court in New York convicted Ali Kourani, 34, a Lebanese-born U.S. citizen of charges that he bought weapons and plotted attacks in the city on behalf of Hezbollah. He was said to be surveying targets that included JFK International Airport and a federal building in Manhattan.

Cohen said with the current escalation of tensions with Iran, it is not surprising that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be taking a hard look at known Hezbollah operatives and networks in the US “and if warranted, taking aggressive enforcement action.”

The article concludes:

While the U.S. Attorney’s office said Saab was a Morristown resident, records only show a Morristown post office box, listed as his residence for his voter registration. At two other addresses in Jersey City associated with Saab in public records, there was no answer when a reporter knocked on the doors. Several living in the neighborhood said they did not know him.

The charges against Saab include providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy, receiving military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization, unlawful procurement of citizenship to facilitate international terrorism and citizenship application fraud.

Hezbollah is funded by Iran. Much of the money paid to Iran in the Iran deal brokered by President Obama has gone to various terrorist groups. Iran is one of those groups. For further information on the behind-the-scenes strategy that sold the Iran deal, see the following article posted on May 10, 2016. The article cites a New York Times interview of Ben Rhodes, the former creative writer who worked in the Obama administration to sell foreign policy to journalists and thus to the American public.

News That Goes Against The Political Grain

Fox News posted an article today about the impact of marijuana on the adolescent brain.

The article reports:

Two health professionals penned an op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday that despite society’s shift on marijuana use, it does not change the fact that the drug is not safe for high school and college students.

Kenneth L. Davis, the president and chief executive of the Mount Sinai Health System, and Mary Jeanne Kreek, the head of Laboratory of the Biology of Addictive Diseases at Rockefeller University, cited studies that show a “deleterious impact on cognitive development in adolescents.”

The column said marijuana use can impair “executive function, processing speed, memory, attention span and concentration.” They said the explanation is simple: the adolescent brain is still vulnerable “especially the prefrontal cortex.”

“The chemical in marijuana responsible for producing mood elevation and relaxation, THC, interferes with the exchange of information between neurons,” they wrote in, “Marijuana Damages Young Brains.”

Davis and Kreek penned the column in response to New York and New Jersey considering legalizing marijuana for those over 21.

Marijuana is not as harmless as it is being made out to be. In October 2018, I posted an article about a man who had begun using marijuana is his 20’s and became addicted to the drug.

The article reported:

There’s a reason that Alcoholics Anonymous started in 1935, two years after the end of Prohibition. Alcohol abuse became rampant, and the country almost drank itself off the rails. Will the same thing happen with marijuana?

Marijuana isn’t alcohol or an opioid. You can’t die from an overdose. It doesn’t really evince physical cravings. So is it better to call my problem marijuana “dependence”? Does it matter?

Cannabis should be legal, just as alcohol should be legal. But marijuana addiction exists, and it almost wrecked my life. If you have a problem, you are not alone.

I am not convinced marijuana should be legal. I think we have more Americans addicted to marijuana than we realize.

Irony At Its Best

The Trump tax cuts made life a little easier for most Americans. They made life a little more difficult for some middle class and wealthy people in states with high taxes. Oddly enough, many of these states with high taxes are blue states with large populations and huge state budgets. Some of the most affected states were California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, all reliably blue states. Those states control 116 Electoral College votes and send 106 Representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives (out of 435 total Representatives). Now, after all the complaining that the Trump tax cuts were tax cuts for the rich (which they were not), Democrats want to give the wealthy in high-tax states their tax cuts.

Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Democrats’ plan.

The article reports:

Democrats often complain that tax cuts primarily benefit “the rich,” but apparently they only think it’s a problem when rich conservatives get a tax break, because they’re outraged that President Trump’s tax cuts scaled back a generous subsidy enjoyed by well-off taxpayers in liberal states.

A key provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a new cap on the so-called State and Local Tax (“SALT”) Deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes on their federal tax return. This provision forces taxpayers in low-tax states such as Florida and Texas to effectively subsidize those in high-tax states such as New York and California.

For years, blue-state Democrats have been able to raise state income and property taxes far higher than voters might normally tolerate. That’s because the SALT deduction softened the impact for taxpayers in those states, particularly for the rich campaign-donor class. Since the SALT deduction only applies to taxpayers who itemize their returns, its benefits naturally accrue to those in the highest income bracket.

There was previously no limit to how much taxpayers could deduct through SALT, but even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped the deduction at $10,000, almost 93 percent of American taxpayers will be unaffected. It’s likely that fewer taxpayers will elect to take advantage of SALT, since the law also doubled the standard deduction, but about 11 million of the highest-earning Americans living in high-tax states are seeing their federal income tax liabilities increase.

It’s curious that liberals who criticized Trump so vociferously for “cutting taxes on the wealthy” are so upset by an element of the tax reform plan that merely takes away a tax break enjoyed disproportionately by the wealthy.

The problem here is simple. The Democrats believe that President Trump cut taxes for the rich (which he didn’t), but it was the wrong rich. However, just for the record, since most of the tax burden falls on Americans who are relatively successful, their tax cuts are going to seem larger than those who pay little or no taxes.

The following chart is from a Pew Research article. The figures are from 2015:

People who make over $100,000 (which in some areas of the country is not a lot of spending power) pay over 80% of all income taxes paid. I think we need to reopen the discussion of a flat tax. Everyone needs to have an equal stake in the game.

Toll Wars

We occasionally drive north to visit grandchildren (and their parents). It’s a great drive through Delaware (and sometimes even into central New Jersey), but when you get near New York City, it’s a mess. At one point it took us three hours to go from the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the middle of Long Island. Traffic in and around New York City is always a mess. So what is the solution?

One America News Network posted an article today about one ridiculous idea.

The article reports:

A mayor in New Jersey is suggesting a commuter tax on New York City residents in retaliation for the Big Apple imposing fees on drivers coming from his state.

This week, Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop suggested implementing a commuter tax on New York City residents leaving the city. This appears to be a rebuttal to New York approving plans to use automated license plate readers to impose fees on drivers entering Manhattan from New Jersey during rush-hour traffic.

The article concludes:

“We don’t see any incentives there for drivers,” explained Robert Sinclair, spokesman for the American Auto Association. “They’re still punishing their vehicles on bad roads and yet being asked to pay for the bulk of the funding to fix the subways and the commuter railroads.”

Fulop said both states should have a “regional conversation” to work out a long-term transportation agreement.

In the meantime, lawmakers are still working out how much money to tax commuters in New York City, with the policy expected to take affect by 2021.

You can’t force people to take public transportation, but you can make public transportation so attractive, convenient, and affordable that people will want to take it. That might be a better solution.

It Only Matters When It Can Be Weaponized

The political left loves to scream that President Trump has a bad attitude toward women or that Judge Kavanaugh was guilty of sexual assault and should therefore be disqualified as a judge, but how good are they at policing their own. If last night’s election results are any indication, not very good.

Fox News posted an article today reminding us that four of the Democrat candidates who won their elections last night are facing sexual misconduct controversies.

The article reports:

House Reps. Keith Ellison, Tony Cárdenas and Bobby Scott, and Sen. Bob Menendez, all came out victorious on Tuesday, despite being accused of misconduct.

Their election raises questions whether the Democratic Party, which went all-out to stop now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of assault claims and stressed the importance of believing women’s allegations, is selectively tapping into the #MeToo movement.

I guess #MeToo only matters if you are a Republican.

The article includes the names of the candidates and the charges:

Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was one of the highest-profile candidates who won the election. He became the state attorney general in Minnesota despite allegations of domestic violence.

Karen Monahan, the Democrat’s former girlfriend, alleged that he once dragged her off a bed while shouting profanities and sent multiple abusive text messages. She also published a 2017 medical document that identified Ellison as the abuser who caused “emotional and physical abuse.”

…Cárdenas, a California Democrat, meanwhile, easily cruised to victory in the state’s 29th Congressional District, receiving nearly 80 percent of the vote, while being the subject of a lawsuit claiming he drugged and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old teenager in 2007.

A Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that “a reasonable and meritorious basis” existed for the case to proceed and Cárdenas was publicly identified as the accused person. He denied the accusations.

…Old allegations of misconduct also came back to haunt Menendez, the incumbent New Jersey senator, who won the closer-than-expected race as well.

Republican candidate Bob Hugin revived salacious allegations that Menendez had sex with underage prostitutes during past trips to the Dominican Republic.

…Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott won Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District thanks to nobody challenging him, even after he was accused of sexual misconduct in 2017.

A former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation fellow. M. Reese Everson, claimed that the congressman sexually harassed her in 2013, and that she was fired and blacklisted from further work on Capitol Hill after she refused his advances.

One standard for me, and one standard for thee.

Going Against Conventional Wisdom

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about a recent study of which states are the wealthiest and which are the poorest. Then Breitbart compared those results with the voting records of the people in those states. The results were surprising.

The article reports:

Democrats paint themselves as the party looking out for the little guy and more interested than Republicans in representing the poor and their best interests.

But according to Ken Fisher, the founder and executive chairman of Fisher Investments, best-selling author and one of the richest men in the United States, a USA Today study released earlier this month that shows the economic profile of all 50 states, ranked by household income, reveals much more.

When Fisher read what he called “a breathtaking economic profile” of the states he found in it something that was “embedded” in it that reveals what he believes is “arguably the greatest unseen political truth of our time.”

This is the surprising correlation:

USA Today headlined its story reporting on its findings: “Wealth in America: Where are the richest and poorest states based on household income?”

But Fisher headlined his commentary about the study published in USA Today on Sunday: “Midterms: Poorest states have Republican legislatures, and richest have Democratic ones.”

“Fathom it, and you will see how politics may unexpectedly affect economics and wealth for years to come,” Fisher wrote.

The article points out that the five richest states have legislatures controlled by Democrats. He doesn’t mention that those states also have some of the highest tax rates in the country. Those states are Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.  According to an article at Wallet Hub, a website that ranks states according to tax rates, Maryland ranks 44th, New Jersey ranks 47th, Hawaii ranks 51st, Massachusetts ranks 45th, and Connecticut ranks 49th in the list of states with the lowest tax rates. Yes, I know there are not 51 states, but the District of Columbia was included in the list.

I guess you have to move to a state with a legislature controlled by Republicans if you want lower taxes.

The Teardrop Memorial

This is an update of an article that was originally posted on September 11, 2009:

Remembering 911

Above are pictures of the Teardrop Memorial, Russia’s gift to the United States in memory of 911. The monument To the Struggle Against World Terrorism was dedicated on September 11, 2006, by President Clinton.   It is located in Bayonne, New Jersey, at a place where the twin towers were visible.   To read the entire story of the monument and how it came to rest there, please follow the link to 911monument.com.  The website tells the story of what inspired the monument and how it came to be.  I stumbled on this monument in an article at the American Thinker posted on September 7, 2009, and visited the monument when I was in New Jersey for a High School reunion.