On January 6th, Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker introduced assembly bill A3657 that would require all bicycles to be registered with the DMV and display a license plate. If the owner is less than 15 years old the bill permits the parents to register the bicycle instead. Applicants would be required to divulge the year, make, color, weight, serial number, date of purchase, name and address of owner (or the parent if the owner is under 15), and the amount of sales tax paid on the bike.
The name of Newark International Airport was changed to Newark Liberty International Airport shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In true Orwellian fashion this change was accompanied with authoritarian changes. The managers closed off sections that used to be large open indoor spaces. Passenger screenings became more invasive. Everyone was told to keep their eyes out and report any “suspicious activity”. A new federal department took over security at the airport. This year, the TSA took a large step towards authoritarianism by forcing passengers to choose between X rated X-ray screening or groping by security agents.
NJLP life member and former NJLP chairman Michael Pierone of White Township (Warren County) was appointed, as a Libertarian, to the Board of Education of the Warren County Vocational School District. His term began January 1, 2011 and expires on December 31, 2014. Following is a media article on Mike's appointment:
Freeholders to consider appointing open government advocate to Warren County Technical School BoardWednesday, December 22, 2010By BILL WICHERTThe Express-Times
WHITE TWP. | More than two years after suing Warren County over an open records request, township resident Michael Pierone is being tapped by county officials to join the newly revamped Warren County Technical School Board.
County freeholders are scheduled to vote at 7 tonight Pierone's appointment to the school board. Over the last two months, the school board has shrunk from seven to five members, and four previous representatives have left the board.
After working on the outside as an open government advocate, the 54-year-old Pierone said he was looking for an inside look at how government operates
"I'm interested in representing the taxpayer," Pierone said Tuesday. "I want to have a better understanding of how everything works and what they're doing."
A former chair of New Jersey's Libertarian Party -- he ran for Congress more than 20 years ago -- Pierone runs a company called Micro Design Systems, which provides web design, web hosting and information technology services.
In the Huffington Post, Christine Walsh of the Institute for Justice tells the story of home owners in Mount Laurel who have been harassed and threatened by their town council. 200 homes have been torn down, leaving the Gardens neighborhood in rubble. Bulldozers are parked in front of those who have refused to leave as a stark reminder of the threat to these homes. The town intends to give the remaining homes to Keating Urban Developers, a Philadelphia company.This story was covered by Free Talk Live on Monday.
What was he smoking when he wrote this?
A pro-pot libertarian activist who’s been repeatedly busted in front of the Manhattan federal courthouse has defied a judge’s order to stop sending him letters.
Julian Heicklen, 78, told Manhattan federal Judge Richard Holwell that he’ll cease only when Holwell recuses himself from Heicklen’s civil-rights case, "as I have requested previously."
"In the event that you are considering a contempt of court charge against me, you have misjudged the situation," Heicklen wrote in a letter filed today.
"My feeling toward this court is not contempt. It is hatred, intense hatred."
Heicklen, 78, is suing the Department of Homeland Security and numerous other defendants over his arrests, which took place while he was distributing pamphlets urging jurors to acquit defendants if they don’t agree with the law.
Holwell told Heicklen to "direct all correspondence regarding non-dispositive matters" to Magistrate Judge James Cott.
I keep getting anti-immigration emails from right wing groups claiming all sorts of things about The Dream Act. As someone who supports a free market and free people, I think this is a good bill. It still has too much bureaucracy and doesn't apply to enough immigrants however.
Most of the right wing groups emails that I am getting claim that this is a give away of student aid and provides free college tuition. The bill has none of that in it. In fact it limits financial aid to loans only, work study, and Title IV aid. This is all subject to the same rules as any other student and does not provide for any special aid for illegal immigrants.
Immigrants who take advantage of the Dream Act are given a 10 year conditional non-immigrant status. They are no longer eligible if they "become a public charge" (i.e. become dependent on the state). Eligibility is removed for a list of other reasons.
Examples of individuals using guns to defend themselves abound. A simple Google search has turned up the following:
- This past Thursday in Houston, a store owner shot three robbers who had tied up his wife.
- On Saturday a business owner shot and killed a robber at her Fresno, CA video game store.
- Also on Saturday in Georgia, a man shot a knife wielding robber in a parking lot.
- On Monday, a man in Kansas shot a would be robber in his apartment.
- Earlier this month in Georgia, a liquor store clerk shot and killed one of the two men attempting to rob him.
- In Tennessee a pizza delivery driver used a handgun to defend himself against three robbers, killing one of them.
- Just after Thanksgiving, a homeowner defended his family against a home intruder in Arkansas.
- This past summer an 11 year old girl defended herself with her mother's rifle in her Albuquerque home.
Meanwhile here in New Jersey Brian Aitken sits in jail merely for having weapons and ammunition locked in the trunk of his car. Law abiding New Jersey residents are left with little options for self defense.
There's been a lot going on for the past week or two surrounding the WikiLeaks release of a number of secret diplomatic cables. The release of the leaked cables must be considered separately from what's been going on in its wake.
We've got the right to know what our government is doing. In fact, since our society is "government of the people, by the people, for the people", I'd argue that we have an obligation to keep an eye on the government. But that is in tension with the government's own responsibility to defend us: some things, like military strategy or, yes, diplomatic proceedings, need to be held close to the vest to be effective at all. This leads to a sort of Catch-22. We need to police the government, but we can't know what it's doing.
I think the only way to resolve the paradox is on a case-by-case basis. Given our current environment, it seems to me that we must come out in favor of disclosure. There is just too much evidence of the government lying to us, with politicians doing what's in their own interest rather than the nation's.
Included in the Obamacare bill was a provision titled: Section 2711, "No Lifetime or Annual Limits". Insurance providers will need to drastically increase rates in order achieve a no limits policy. Health and Human services have provided a method for opting out of this provision. As of December 3rd, 222 providers have had their applications approved. This has allowed for over 1.5 million people to opt out of the one of the more expensive aspects of Obamacare.
I do not yet know how many applications have been submitted or rejected. Today I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the federal Health and Human Services agency requesting the list of rejected applications and the reasons for each rejection. I'll update this article when I hear back.
UPDATE: On December 23rd, I got a letter back saying that my request was denied based on 41 U.S.C 253b(m) of the National Defense Authorization Act for 1997, Public Law No. 104-201b. (FOIA exemption (b)(3) permits denials based on statutes other than FOIA.)
Furthermore they are denying my request because of FOIA exemption (b)(4) which permits the withholding of trade secrets and commercial or financial information. They claim the release of the info would cause harm to the organizations.
I have 30 days to appeal. I may either appeal or I may somehow reword my request.
One thing the letter does say is that the data I requested consists of approximately 50 pages of records.
So how does publishing the list of the 222 companies who were approved not cause them harm?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2010
Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222
Wes for Wesley Snipes
Why men can't jump on Wesley Snipes
WASHINGTON - Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, issued the following statement today:
"The federal government's recent demand for tax protester Wesley Snipes to report to prison brings attention to how horrible the federal income tax system is.
"The three-year federal prison sentence for Snipes's failure to file tax returns is absurd. Snipes is not a threat to anyone, and the judge who sentenced him clearly just wanted to scare others who might think about resisting federal taxes.
The NJ Libertarian Party is joining We Won't Fly by organizing the National Opt Out Day demonstration at Newark Airport. On Wednesday, November 24th we urge all travelers who are "selected" to undergo the intrusive full body scanning to Opt Out. Instead they will be forced to participate in the more time consuming and humiliating enhanced "pat downs". The pat downs include moving hands up legs until contact pressure is made with genitals.
We are meeting on November 24th at 6:00 PM at the bar of Chile's Too in terminal B. Demonstrations will start at 6:30.
Our goal is to raise awareness among travelers over this new TSA procedure.
The following resolution was approved by the Libertarian Party of Florida on November 14th, 2010 in response to several unlibertarian comments made by Wayne Root.
Resolution regarding Wayne Allen Root
WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee is committed to the platform of the Libertarian Party; and
A New Jersey man gets seven years for being a responsible gun owner.
Sue Aitken called the police because she was worried about her son, Brian. She now lives with the guilt of knowing that her phone call is the reason Brian spent his 27th birthday in a New Jersey prison last month. If the state gets its way, he will be there for the next seven years.
Aitken was sentenced in August after he was convicted of felony possession of a handgun. Before his arrest, Aitken, an entrepreneur and owner of a media consulting business, had no criminal record, and it appears he made a good-faith effort to comply with New Jersey's stringent gun laws. Even the jurors who convicted him seem to have been looking for a reason to acquit him. But the judge gave them little choice.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2010
Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222
WASHINGTON - In Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, and Maryland, Democrats have spent money on mailers and other printed items to inform voters about Libertarian candidates.
Libertarian Party (LP) Executive Director Wes Benedict said, "We're pleased to see Democrats spending their own money to promote Libertarian candidates. We hope Republicans will start doing the same thing soon."