Letters to Editor
The ballot for the upcoming election asks New Jersey voters to approve or reject an amendment to the NJ Constitution increasing New Jersey's minimum wage and mandating automatic cost-of-living increases. Advocates of this proposal would have you believe that, by raising the minimum wage, everyone working below that rate would get an immediate increase, and those out of work would be offered jobs at the higher rate.
The truth is a bit more complicated. No one would remain employed at the higher rate if their services are not, in the eyes of their employers, worth the higher rate. So while, no doubt, many people earning less than the new rate would initially get a bump in their hourly rate, it is equally certain that employers with limited resources would have to let many of them go - the less educated, less skilled, less experienced - as a result of the higher rate.
Originally published at Suburban Trends newspaper
Libertarians are evidently getting under the skin of some folks, a sign that the philosophy of individual liberty and small limited government is growing!
On the one hand we have our bully of a governor, Mr. Christie saying libertarianism is dangerous in his attacks on Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. We then have a local letter writer giving a completely distorted view of what he thinks Libertarians believe in.
Originally published at Suburban Trends newspaper
In the July 3rd Suburban Trends, Holly Ennist Stewart in her "My Word" column starts off by talking about the erosion of the civil liberties since 9/11 (no argument from me on that score, although the war on individual liberty started long before 9/11). From that point on, Holly’s article seems to go downhill (in a leftward direction very fast). Growth of government interference in our lives is actually the fault of the business community according to Holly, not the politicians who enact unconstitutional laws and the bureaucrats who enforce them. Did it ever occur to Holly that businesses wouldn’t have lobbyists were it not for all the unconstitutional regulations they have to deal with?
Free-market capitalism isn’t the problem; rather it’s the lack of it! As to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, what Holly doesn’t understand is that the federal government has no constitutional authority to determine state and local elections laws and policies. I have several of those pocket-sized editions of the Constitution courtesy of groups as divergent as the ACLU, the Libertarians Cato Institute, former Congressman Ron Paul, and the John Birch Society. Not one of those copies of the Constitution shows any federal power granted over local election laws. The powers of the federal government are supposed to be, as James Madison said, "few and defined."
I almost started to cheer when I saw Joe Phalon’s column (Phalon’s File) in the March 13 issue of the Suburban Trends regarding Mayor Bloomberg’s latest attempt to micromanage the lives of New Yorkers by banning large-sized soft drinks.
Sadly, Mr. Phalon’s commentary also included a snide comment regarding those who are concerned about the steady erosion of liberty here in America by making reference to the "paranoia of the tinfoil hat crowd."
I’ve attended many meetings, conferences, conventions and rallies of pro-liberty, pro-constitution and pro-historical truth groups for over 30 years and have yet to see anyone running around with a tinfoil hat on their head! Why is it that anyone who takes a consistent stand in defense of individual liberty gets made fun of by people like Joe Phalon or "comedians" like Bill Maher on HBO?
UPDATE: I received an updated version of this article from Ed. He was sentenced to nine months of jail for probation violations. He is temporarily out of jail so he can get his cancer treatments, however will need to return to jail soon.
Friends of Ed (including this author) have started a website to raise some money for Ed. See http://helpnjweedman.com and consider giving a donation.
The National Libertarian Examiner has a story today on Edward Forchion. He has a hearing on Tuesday. It is still unknown whether or not he can make it to our convention as planned. If he is unable to attend I will try to get him to briefly address the attendees via speakerphone. We have received a letter from him from the Burlington County jail last week. Below is part of what he sent us. Hopefully we will be able to hear of his ordeal on Saturday.
In July of 1997 Governor Whitman signed into law a new Omnibus Crime Bill that revamped all of the criminal laws 2C:35-10. The criminal marijuana laws (N.J.S.2C:43-3(1)) described marijuana as a schedule 1 drug - "having no medical value". On 1/18/2010 New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed into law the NJ Compassionate Use Act C.24:6I-2. The law, in part, reads:
The Legislature finds and declares that: (a) Modern medical research has discovered a beneficial use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions……(c) Although federal law currently prohibits the use of marijuana, the laws of 14 states permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and in Arizona doctors are permitted to prescribe marijuana. New Jersey joins this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens; ………(e) The purpose of the NJ Compassionate Use Act to protect from arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties, those patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes.
Please think about this - NJ now has two laws saying different things. One law the most current a medical law C.24:6I-2 recognizes marijuana's medical use. To me: wouldn't that render the older 2C:35-10 law that doesn't recognize medical use as outdated, obsolete, flawed at the very least, and outright unconstitutional at best? Shouldn't the state's Title 2C:35-10 marijuana laws be VOIDED for VAGUENESS, and nullified in violation of due process? How is it the state gets to prosecute citizens like myself under 2C:35-10 criminal statutes that falsely, in direct contrast to more recent law, that statutorily classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug having “no medical value”. Then simultaneously allowing, under the NJ Compassionate Use Act C.24:6I-2, other citizens to grow, distribute, and use it as a medicine? Equal protection, Due Process?
I agree with the letter published Jan. 26, “Gun laws won’t work, just like drug laws don’t.”
If President Obama and others really want to reduce gun violence, they should focus on what government already controls: itself. Virtually all private, law-abiding gun owners in this country are peaceful, nonviolent people.
On the other hand, the government routinely kills people in this country and around the world. Thousands of innocent civilians worldwide have been killed by American drones and what Obama euphemistically calls “kinetic military action.”
Letter writer Gary Stewart of Riverdale is on target in saying the government is trying to turn our country into a bunch of timid, fearful people who will "rat out" anyone who might be a security risk based on their appearance: Sounds an awful lot like profiling to me!
The government and its media allies will seize on anything to get the American "sheeple" to give up their liberties. Mr. Stewart asks, "Am I the only who feels this?"
As expected the media, the politicians, the simple-minded Hollywood celebrities, and countless others have all jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
When a school shooting happens, they no doubt see another golden opportunity to demand that the American people part company with their Second Amendment liberties! Suppose those school children had been on a bus going on a class field trip and the bus was involved in a horrific highway accident, would the media, President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, Senators Lautenberg, Feinstein and Schumer all be carrying on as they have been for the past week? I think not! Those innocent children would still be dead and their families grieving, but to the anti-gun crowd their deaths wouldn't be that tragic since it was a highway accident and no guns were involved!
It is truly amazing how ignorant most people are of basic economics. A case in point would be the outrage over increased gas prices in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Price gouging by service stations was the battle cry of politicians and journalists who foster the economic ignorance of the general population.
What is called price gouging is in fact a basic market mechanism to limit demand in times of shortage. If gas stations had kept their prices at pre-Sandy levels, there would have been even more of a mob scene at the pumps than there was. By allowing prices to rise, the marketplace limits demand and ensures a continued supply. Isn’t it better to temporarily pay more for something and know it will be there or be "protected" by government price controls than either run out or have it rationed by some bureaucrat?
After hearing about the recent heroin overdose of Stephanie Bongiovi, the 19-year-old daughter of entertainer and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi, I was relieved to learn the young lady received medical attention quickly enough to avoid death or permanent injury.
However, I was saddened to learn that police in the upstate New York town where she was attending college attempted to pursue criminal charges against her for drug possession, in relation to the incident.
Government spending and government meddling in our economic and personal lives is now and continues to be at an all-time high. If you wish to support a pro-freedom agenda (as I do), I would suggest voting as follows.
For president, I support former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party candidate. For U.S. senator from New Jersey I support my fellow Libertarian Party member Ken Kaplan. For Congress I'm voting to re-elect Scott Garrett. Although he is a Republican candidate, he comes the closest to have a constitutionalist pro-freedom voting record.
Originally it was my intent to write or call Jason Okin of and ask him why he is so upset with my letter regarding the history of Camp Midvale Weis Ecology Center. The local phonebook showed no listing for a Jason Okin in Ringwood so I will respond via your letters to the editor section.
He doesn’t like the "tone" of my letter. Why is it that whenever a person takes a principled stand on behalf of individual liberty they are attacked with the smear word of "hate?"
Published in the Suburban Trends, July 30th, 2012
In the Suburban Trends of July 12, under the "Our View" portion of the editorial page, mention was made of "moderates" in political races across the country.
Terms like "moderate" or "extremist" really tell us nothing about what a candidate's views really are. They are simply media "buzz words" that the uninformed public accepts because they are too mentally lazy to do any serious research.
If a person running for office says they believe that the proper role of government is what is defined in the Constitution and no more, you can be sure they'll be called an "extremist" by the media pundits.
Congressman Ron Paul in seeking the Republican nomination for president is a case in point; he was smeared or ignored.
Published in the Suburban Trends, July 1st, 2012
At the outset of this letter, let me state as I have in the past that I do not believe in "public education" (government-run schools).
It is a socialist concept from beginning to end. The idea that government at the local, all the way up to the federal level, should confiscate the earnings of some to benefit the children of others is simply wrong – let’s be real, it is a form of stealing!
Education, like health care, is a good or service that should be handled in a private competitive manner, the assumption that either one is a "right" implies that someone else is compelled to pay for it (via taxation) against their will.