The NJLP's Preempted Ordinance Repeal Project has recently succeeded in getting two Salem County municipalities--Pilesgrove Township and Woodstown Borough--to repeal their loitering ordinances.
Pilesgrove finalized the repeal of their ordinance on March 19th, Woodstown repealed their ordinance on March 24th.
For more information, see LP Of Central NJ Loitering Page
In a March 25, 2009 letter, the High Bridge (Hunterdon County) Board of Education agreed that its committees (e.g. Policy Committee, Personnel Committee, etc.) will now take minutes of their meetings. This change was made in response to a March 6, 2009 request from the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. The request and the response are available HERE.
Readers may wish to submit an OPRA request for the minutes of their local school boards' committee meetings. If they find that the committees do not take minutes of their meetings (i.e. if the OPRA request is answered "there are no responsive records") they may wish to send the correspondence at the above link to the board members and ask that they consider adopting the High Bridge Board's procedure.
On March 19th, two Chicago Alderman (Anthony Beale in the 9th Ward and John Pope in the 10th) announced plans to propose an ordinance that would deputize private security officers working on the south side and elsewhere, to write summonses and tickets from speeding on down. This ordinance was inspired by an experiment that occurred in Marquette Park, Illinois where private property owners paid security to secure and police their areas. The experiment has proved to be successful.
The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the deficit from 2010 to 2019 will be $9.3 trillion, 2.3 trillion higher than previously estimated by Pres. Obama's administration. What a big surprise, Obama underestimated his spending when he plans to increase the size government to the largest it has ever been in US history. This should have not been a shocking revelation to anyone. If you add up the costs of the bail out, continuing troop deployment, his universal health care plan, education reform, energy programs, blah de blah blah then it should be easy to understand why the deficit is going to be huge.
You can find the article here.
President Obama has finally done something right. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced yesterday that the Justice Department will no longer be raiding Medical Marijuana dispensaries. The bad news is that this is being done to focus more on other aspects of the drug war such as going after the dealers who are selling Marijuana illegally (as defined by state and federal law). Pres. Obama took a very small step in the right direction but for the wrong reason. He should not be stopping the raids because he needs to redirect his Justice Department resources but rather because it was a flawed policy to begin with.
You can find the article on here.
March 19, 2009
Office of Professional Standards
New Jersey State Police
810 Bear Tavern Road - Suite 310
West Trenton, NJ 08628 (via Fax only to 609-882-2033)
RE: Complaint against Troopers Locchetto and Howell
Dear Sir or Madam:
Today, I read the Appellate Division's unpublished decision in State v. Vernett Shaw and Paul Green, Docket No. A-4829-07T4, on the Judiciary's Internet site [Endnote 1]. After reading it, I came away with the conclusion that it's the policy and practice of the New Jersey State Police to conduct motor vehicle searches without regard to whether or not a search warrant is legally required.
As a life-long New Jersey resident, I was distressed at what I read and decided to file an Internal Affairs complaint against Troopers Lewis Locchetto and Howell [Endnote 2] for their actions arising out of a motor vehicle stop occurring at about 9:40 p.m. on February 24, 2007. Please accept this letter as my complaint.
I would not be filing this complaint if I thought that Trooper Locchetto's and Trooper Howell's improper search was an isolated incident. If it was an isolated incident, I would trust that the State Police's Internal Affairs program would have already taken note of the problem and remedied it.
But, Trooper Locchetto's testified that:
a. "During a roadside stop, when you smell the odor of raw marijuana and/or burnt marijuana, you can search that car" without a warrant. (Decision, pp. 5-6).
b. He did not think of calling for a warrant while he was awaiting backup "because that's not our procedure." (Decision, p. 6).
c. When asked why they did not have the car towed to the State Police barracks and searched there, he responded "that's not what we do." (Decision, p. 6).
On page 7 of the decision, the defense attorney argued, apparently validly, "that the State Police policy to never apply for a warrant, telephonic or otherwise, was contrary to well-established case law."
It baffles me that the State Police would have, as a matter of policy, such a callous disregard for motorists' constitutional rights. I am certainly no fan of the "Drug War" [Endnote 3] but even if I was I would oppose this "we don't need no stinkin' warrants" policy because the failure of the Troopers to get a warrant in this case resulted in suppression of the evidence needed to convict the theoretical bad-guys.
So, I decided to file this Internal Affairs complaint. I figure that it the State Police really do have a policy that permits warrantless searches regardless of exigent circumstances or other factors, my complaint will be considered unfounded and the Troopers will suffer no punishment. While I would not like that result, at least I would know that the State Police simply consider themselves to be above the law.
Alternatively, if there really is no policy that permits unbridled, warrantless searches, and that indeed warrantless searches violate State Police rules and regulations, then I believe that the State Police administration would be as concerned as I am that Trooper Locchetto falsely testified that the State Police has established such a no-warrant policy. In such a case, I would think that both Troopers would be punished for searching the car without a warrant and that Trooper Locchetto would be punished for publicly misrepresenting the policies of the New Jersey State Police and creating a public perception that troopers are taught to ignore the rule of law.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I await being notified of the disposition of my complaint.
2 No first name for Trooper Howell is listed in the Appellate Division decision.
3 I am a proud, long-time member of the Libertarian Party. The LP's position on the "War on Drugs" is articulated in the "Personal Privacy" plank of our platform at http://www.lp.org/platform
In a published decision released today (March 17, 2009), the Appellate Division held that the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) did not permit Monmouth County to withhold from the public an agreement that the county entered into to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The Appellate Division also ruled that the Asbury Park Press and I, who had filed separate OPRA lawsuits seeking access to the settlement agreement, were entitled to recover our attorney fees from the county. I was represented by attorney Walter Luers at both the trial court and the appellate levels.
The decision is on-line at NJ Judiciary website.
The Mercatus Center of George Mason University has released a report studying the level of freedom in the United States. They rank each state based on economic, social, and personal Freedom. Unsurprisingly NJ ranked at the bottom.
New Jersey is a highly regulated state all around, #46 on economic freedom, #45 on personal freedom, and #49 overall. Taxes and spending are high. Spending on education is particularly high. Property taxes are among the highest in the country, and individual income taxes are also high. Gun control is extensive. Marijuana laws are subpar. New Jersey has primary seat-belt enforcement, motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws, a cell phone driving ban, an open-container law, sobriety checkpoints, and mandatory liability and personal injury coverage for automobiles. Fireworks are prohibited. Asset forfeiture is largely unreformed. Cigarette taxes are stratospheric, and smoking bans are as draconian as any in the country. On the positive side, alcohol is taxed fairly reasonably, and, like Nevada, casino and slots gambling are legal statewide. More importantly, private and home school regulations are surprisingly light, extending only to broad curriculum requirements. Civil unions are also recognized. On economic regulation, labor laws are predictably costly, statewide land-use planning (“smart growth”) is in force, and there is extensive community rating for private health insurance. On other issues, however, New Jersey is about average.
I know that this sounds like something The Onion would write as a satire in one of their articles but it is horrifyingly true. NJ officials are proposing to ban Brazilian wax jobs which are a waxing of the genital region. Why are they doing this? Because two clients were injured at a salon in NJ. Hmmmm... I guess that makes sense. I got cut shaving yesterday, they should ban that. I tripped over a curb a week ago, they should ban those.
The NJ Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling has stated that it has always been illegal though it is not stated in the current regulations. Is this a good excuse? No! That is not a reason for banning anything.
You can find the article here.
In New Jersey and elsewhere, if a person wanted to enter a profession or a field, one has to be licensed by the state or the federal government. If one wanted to get into, for example, the financial services industry or the real estate industry, one has to be licensed by the state. If one wanted to participate in the import/export business, one has to be licensed by the federal government. If one wanted to braid hair,one,in Washington, D.C., has to be licensed by the local government there. It goes on and on, ad infinitum.
The last few months have been extremely busy and exciting for me as business is really taking off. I have traveled and will continue to travel extensively both domestically and internationally and must apologize for the lack of time I have spent in New Jersey. It is not that I have not been working on projects to promote Liberty because I have, and in fact just this week attended the State Chairs conference in Charleston, South Carolina representing the NJLP. In speaking with other chairs, and reflecting on the last two years as chair, I have come to the conclusion that two years is enough. It is time for a fresh set of eyes to move us forward. In that regard, I will not be seeking reelection as chair. I wanted to give everyone a little heads up before the convention.
Sticky - scroll down for more recent articles.
Flemington: April 15th, Noon - 2:00 PM. The northwest corner of Main Street and Court Street.
Hackensack: April 15th, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Bergen County Court House.
Morristown: April 15th Noon, On The Green at the center of Morristown.
Newark: April 15th, 782 McCarter Highway, Gateway Center One. Lautenberg and Menendez's office. Noon - 6:00 PM.
Piscataway: April 15th, 5:00 PM. Johnson Park (River Road, Piscataway Township).
Trenton: April 15th, in front of the State House steps. 11:30 AM - 4:00 PM.
Vineland: April 15th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, 722 E Landis Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360
Middletown: July 4th, from 11-1 at 1750 Highway 35 (Arin Park Bldg).
Originally published in 1896 by Frank R. Stockton (1834 - 1902). This was in reference to an event that occurred on December 22nd, 1774 in Greenwich Township, Cumberland County NJ.
At the time when the American colonists began to be restless under the rule of Great Britain, the people of New Jersey showed as strong a desire for independence as those of any other Colony, and they were by no means backward in submitting to any privations which might be necessary in order to assert their principles. As has been said before, the people were prosperous, and accustomed to good living, and it was not likely that there was any part of America in which a cup of well-flavored tea was better appreciated than in New Jersey.
There are many politicians and others, liberal, "moderate," and conservative, that take the position that if a particular legislative action or policy has failed, the people should judge them by their "good" intentions and not if the action or policy is successful. They will say that their "motives" were "good," That their "idea" was "good,"That their "belief" was "pure," no matter if the policy or action has caused hardships and difficulties for individuals. It is a way to excuse it all and not do much else. This often causes problems for society at large.
NJ Libertarian Party Members,
On Friday, March 13 at 10:00 PM, John Stossel and ABC News has a special, "Bailouts, Big Spending and Bull." As John put it in his announcement, this special is produced in partnership with Drew Carey and Reason Magazine. Indeed most of the segments are based on videos from Reason.TV.
Michael Beitler (pronounced Bite-ler), Ph.D., CPA, is the host of "Free Markets With Dr. Mike Beitler," a libertarian internet-radio talk show, and the author of Rational Individualism: A Moral Argument for Limited Government & Capitalism. Mike was the CFO of a profitable bank for more than ten years.
Originally published at Campaign For Liberty
Fannie Mae reported a loss of $25.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2008 (losses of $58.7 billion for full-year 2008). Total nonperforming loans were $119.2 billion at year-end. Fannie is requesting additional capital from the U.S Treasury. The other gargantuan government-sponsored enterprise, Freddie Mac is likewise running up billions of dollars in losses. Freddie is preparing to ask for additional capital from the U.S Treasury of $35 billion.
Why should you, the taxpayer, be concerned? Isn't the Federal government using bailout funds allocated by Congress to clean up the mess?
The problem is the Federal government is on the brink of bankruptcy itself. The U.S. government is $11 trillion dollars in debt. (That figure does not include tens of trillions of dollars of off-balance sheet, unfunded liabilities.) Congress has no "money to allocate" to Fannie, Freddie, or anything else. You, the taxpayer, are on the hook for these massive obligations.
Go back to the first paragraph and substitute "additional taxpayer money" for "additional capital."
Despite the change in administration we are still being used as the world's policeman!
Ike Skelton, Chairman House Armed Services Committee
For Immediate Release: February 17, 2009 Contact: Loren Dealy or Lara Battles
Skelton Praises Announcement to Increase
U.S. Troop Commitment in Afghanistan
Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) praised today’s announcement to increase U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan:
“Commanders in Afghanistan have been calling for more troops to meet mission requirements. Today’s announcement committing additional U.S. troops in Afghanistan signals that we are restoring American leadership to the coalition effort to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban and to support the Government of Afghanistan. I hope our NATO allies will take our example to heart and provide more assistance as well.
“But in addition to our military contributions, we must also increase the civilian resources available to improve security and stability in Afghanistan. This is extremely important. The military’s role is critical, but we must use all of our tools – military, diplomatic, economic – to meet the challenges in this region. I look forward to working with the administration to chart the path ahead in Afghanistan.”
On October 2, 1996 in the “New York Post,” then columnist Carl T. Rowan wrote a piece entitled “Liberal Is Not a Four Letter Word.” In it, he described what it meant to be “a liberal” and what it entailed. After reading it, it just reaffirmed to me that the ideology had nothing to in common with the liberalism of the past. That the ideology was hijacked. Where once liberalism believed in the chains of the Constitution, the limits of power and government, as well as rugged individualism, it, along with the conservatism of the modern variety today, believes in the omnipotence of the state. To me, it was a sad read.
On February 15, 2009, the Pilesgrove Township (Salem County) Committee introduced an ordinance to repeal parts of The Township's "Peace and Good Order" Code. The ordinance, as introduced, is below and the NJLP's January 19, 2009 letter which requested the repeal is online HERE.
UPDATE 2/23/2009: Passed by the Senate!!! 22 - 16
URGENT ACTION NEEDED! From our friends at the Drug Policy Alliance:
Critically ill New Jerseyans, many battling life-threatening conditions, are enduring unnecessary pain and anguish because, in our state, many people cannot safely access their medicine.
A little over a month ago, you helped bring New Jersey one step closer to becoming the 14th state to allow access to medical marijuana. Because of you, members of the Senate Health Committee supported our medical marijuana bill.
The entire Senate will vote on Monday for the first time on this legislation. With your voice telling senators that you are concerned about reducing suffering in New Jersey, we can build on this momentum.
You have the chance to transform the lives of sick patients by telling members of the New Jersey State Senate that you support New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
The time is now. Together, we can make certain that, with their doctor's recommendation, seriously ill patients have safe access to medical marijuana, but only if you act now.
Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey
P.S. Follow this link to learn more details about the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
There are many people in the United States that have this belief that society, government or other "owes us." This belief came to fruition in the late 1890s and early 1900s. It was made famous men such as William Jennings Bryant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Eugene Debs, Franklin Roosevelt as well as others. This belief goes by names such as "soak the rich" and, my favorite. "compassion." What thsi belief really entails is the punishment of achievement and the promotion of class envy. It is the belief of pitting one group against another.
- Schumer: The American People Don't Care
- Opposing 'Stimulus' - Hundreds of Economists Sign on to Cato Institute Ad
- Libertarian ideas to stimulate economy
- American Business Has Sold Its Soul to the Devil: Exhibit A- Obama Warns Companies Not to Book Event
- Different Party, Same Results
- The Unconstitutional Bailout