I think we are all in agreement that New Jersey has changed markedly in the last ten years. As an immigration gateway, our state sees a regular dynamic shift that makes defining who and what New Jersey is difficult. Our personal stories and memories may no longer be relevant. As a transplant to NJ, I can identify with the goals and challenges of an immigrant from an even more alien landscape. I was looking for progressive work options as do many others that come here. Physical safety, inflationary protection and political freedom were not significant concepts on my own note but are common among the reasons given as to why America is attractive. Finding a place to call home, a “comfort zone”, has led to ethnic pockets within our communities. The downside to this grouping is isolation – discovering the diversity of American life is undercut.
Over the past several months, northwestern New Jersey has been treated to a political wild west of sorts, where Phillipsburg is the main character in a show no one wants to watch. From arguments to cronyism, this public theater has become nothing more than another side show in the issues that plague New Jersey.
“A Phillipsburg youth center's decades-long partnership with town government may be in jeopardy. It started with a town employee's Facebook post.” (Novak, 6 April 2018).
This is an honest headline from an article from lehighvalleylive.com, which owns the most circulated newspaper in Town – The Express-Times.
Nicholas DeSimone works in public policy for Reason Foundation in Washington D.C. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and has written for Reason Foundation, Townhall.com and Penn Political Review. Follow him on Twitter: @nickyd8181
Every recent measure from the Democrat’s plan to ban the sale of semi-automatic rifles to Congressman Thomas Massie’s plan to repeal the Federal Gun-Free School Zone Act and even President Trump’s plans to arm teachers in schools and implement stricter background checks for mental illness have been suggested to prevent individuals from committing mass shootings.
While the background check system has prevented individuals from illegally obtaining guns from licensed dealers, the gun show loophole can allow individuals to purchase guns from unlicensed dealers. Attempts to close this loophole have been made in 19 states and Washington D.C. by requiring background checks on all handgun sales. However, guns, including the AR-15 are still widely accessible through unlicensed dealers.
The majority of guns used in 19 recent mass shootings were bought legally, with some of these individuals—possessing a history mental illness—able to pass federal background checks to purchase guns. Logic would follow that by making background checks stricter this would prevent people who have mental illnesses from illegally obtaining guns.
Let’s assume that all gun show loopholes are closed and we rely on stricter background checks for mental illness, as suggested by gun control advocates. There are few concerns with this.
First, what types mental disorders would prevent a person from owning a gun: depression, acute stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or anxiety/panic disorder? All of these mental illnesses have one thing in common; they all rely on self-report for accuracy so when determining who is classified to have one of these mental disorders there’s much room for inaccuracies.
The NJ Libertarian Party Nominates Tosone for Congress in NJ-5
|Congressional Candidate Jim Tosone
with US Senate Candidate Murray Sabrin
Township of Washington, NJ, March 27, 2017 – Jim Tosone received the Libertarian Party’s nomination at the New Jersey LP Convention on March 24th, as their candidate for House of Representatives in New Jersey’s 5th congressional district.
Tosone is a lifelong resident of New Jersey. His wife and he have lived in Township of Washington, Bergen County, for 30 years. They have one daughter.
Tosone had a thirty-year career at a Fortune 50 healthcare company as a Director of Business Technology. He now consults with leading organizations to help them enhance their innovation, collaboration, and communication skills. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mathematics and Technology Management from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.
I did not realize that the odor of marijuana, without more, justified a roadside, under-clothes search of a motorist's genitals and anus by a State Trooper clad in latex gloves. I received this video in response to an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request made to the New Jersey State Police.
Pennsauken quietly paid out $770,000 in 2006 to settle female police officer's sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit
I normally do not post settlements of cases that are this old, but the size of the settlement, the nature of the allegations and the fact that the alleged sexual harasser has since been promoted to Police Captain and still serves in that position cause me to make an exception.
Pennsauken Police Officer Susan D. Holtz filed her sexual harassment civil lawsuit on June 4, 2003. Holtz, who was hired as a patrol officer in 1990, said that she was "a very close friend of" Michael Probasco, who was then a patrolman, until she met her husband, Larry Holtz. According to Holtz, her decision to cut off all personal interaction with Probasco so that she could "devote her entire romantic attention" to Larry Holtz "enraged Probasco" and resulted in Probasco spreading lies about her in order to sabotage her relationship with Larry.
For immediate release
March 28, 2018
During the 2016 presidential campaign, some libertarian-leaning voters wanted to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. As a candidate, Trump talked about drastic reductions in spending and taxation, along with “draining the swamp” of its career politicians. He said he wanted to reduce spending for defense of other countries and wars of foreign intervention. He even leaned toward allowing states to determine their own marijuana policies. Whatever libertarian impulses Trump the candidate seemed to have, though, his actual performance as president stands in stark contrast. Donald Trump is the opposite of a Libertarian.
During his campaign, Trump said he was “in favor of medical marijuana 100 percent,” and that recreational marijuana policy should be left to the states. On that issue, he sounded moderately libertarian. Once elected, Trump appointed Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Sessions promptly rescinded the Barack Obama–era Cole Memorandum, a directive from former Deputy Attorney General James Cole that had effectively prevented the federal government from initiating marijuana prosecutions in states that had legalized cannabis.
In the November 2018 election the NJ Libertarian Party will be running candidates under the Libertarian Party banner. The following candidates have been nominated to run for office under the Libertarian banner.
On March 3rd, 1882 Charles Ponzi, the creator of our modern Social Security system was born. The Ponzi Scheme is now used to describe any scam that pays early investors returns from the investments of later investors. In 1935, the U.S. government took Ponzi's ideas and added into it the concept of force.
Published in the Suburban Trends, February 28, 2018
In the wake of the school shooting in Florida, it is disturbing to see the uninformed masses out there demanding more gun laws.
It is more than a reminiscent of the civilian population of Germany in the early 1930s demanding "law and order" and a strong government and leader to "save" Germany from the political violence in the streets that was occurring at the time.
A certain political leader did emerge at that time and I think we all know who that was!
There are approximately 300 million guns in private citizens hands, yet only a miniscule fraction of those are ever used in a crime or mass shooting, clearly gun ownership is not the problem.
On October 4, 2017, the Borough of Lindenwold (Camden County) quietly paid $9,300 to a woman who said that police roughed her up, false arrested her and humiliated her by groping and exposing her genitals and breasts in a public parking lot.
In her lawsuit, Ramona Berry, who at the time was 50, said that on September 12, 2014 she rode with her daughter Aisha to the location where Lindenwold police had detained her other daughter for a traffic stop. She said that she identified herself as the detainee's mother and asked police what was going on. Berry claimed that Patrolman Sean Williams screamed that if she didn't get back into Aisha's car she would be arrested. Berry said that Williams was screaming in her ear as she was trying to open the car door at the same time that Aisha was trying to unlock it. She said that after she gave up trying to open the car door, Williams "slammed her fifty-year-old body and head into a parked car, bent her over the car, handcuffed her violently, dragged and pushed her to a police car, tossed her roughly into the back of a police car, and violently shoved [her] legs into the car."
On December 26, 2017, a former Sea Isle City (Cape May County) police officer filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey State Police Firearms Investigation Unit claiming that the agency is dragging its feet on processing his permit to carry a handgun.
In his lawsuit, Vincenzo J. Macrino claims that he has met all the requirement of the statute that permits retired law enforcement officers to carry a handgun. Yet, despite seven months having elapsed since his application was submitted, the State Police Unit has not yet granted or denied his application.
On December 13, 2017, the Local Finance Board, the primary enforcer of the Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL), fined a former Deputy Director of the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders $200 for voting to appoint the former mayor of Willingboro Township (Burlington County) to head the County's Office of Purchasing while the former Deputy Director served as Willingboro's Labor Counsel.
The Board, which has the statutory authority to issue fines between $100 and $500 for LGEL violations, found that Douglas Long, who formerly served as Freeholder Deputy Director and presently chairs the Cumberland County Democratic Committee, violated the LGEL by voting in favor of appointing former Willingboro Mayor Jacqueline Jennings to head the purchasing office while he simultaneously served as Willingboro's Labor Counsel. According to its Notice of Violation, the Board determined that Long's vote in favor of Jennings' appointment constituted an official act where Long had an interest or involvement "that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment."
(UPDATED FOR CURRENT VERSION OF BILL 12/20/2018) I've spent quite some time looking at how the GOP tax proposals will impact income tax rates. If you want to know how to determine the impact on your taxes I've developed an online calculator for you to use below. The major impacts of the proposals on taxpayers are:
- Updated tax brackets with generally lower rates. Top rate has dropped from 39.6 to 37%.
- Standard deduction has been doubled. This will reduce the number of people who itemize. Currently about 30% of filers itemize. The Tax Policy Center estimates that this will drop to 5% of filers.
- Personal deduction has been eliminated.
- State income tax and property tax deduction has been capped at $10,000 (combined). This impacts those who typically itemize.
- Child tax (for children under 17) credit has been increased to $2,000 from the existing $1,000 per child. Income restrictions have been raised for this credit.
- A credit of $500 for elder care or children 17 and over has been added. (I'm unsure if the income restrictions apply to this credit. I applied the restriction in the below calculator.)
Originally published in the Suburban Trends, 12/13/2017
Regarding "Take time on legalizing marijuana" (Suburban Trends, Editorial, Dec. 10):
Why are so many in the journalism profession timid and lukewarm about defending individual liberty on all issues? A case in point would be the editorial in which you urge caution in repealing laws against marijuana in New Jersey.
This letter was published in The Record, 12/6/2017
In the Dec. 5 edition of The Record, a letter appeared in which the writer insinuates that Libertarianism is somehow part and parcel of conservative Republican politics. Most Republicans I know are just as hostile towards the Libertarian pro-freedom viewpoint as Democrats on the left are. Neither group thinks that individuals should be allowed to make their own choices in life with regard to personal freedom or economic freedom. To their way of thinking, we exist to serve the greater collective; this is the basis for every authoritarian and totalitarian ideology that has ever blighted human history.
This letter was published in the The Record, 11/23/2017
Judge Ray Moore of Alabama calls himself a Constitutionalist; if so, his copy of it doesn't resemble the one I have in front of me as I write this. Where is the government granted power to decide who can fall in love and be married or what substances you may put into your body? Like most "social conservatives," Moore has disdain for personal civil liberties that he doesn't approve of.
On November 13, 2017, the New Jersey Local Finance Board (LFB) issued Notices of Violation to Ridgewood Village's (Bergen County) former Mayor and Manager for authorizing and appearing in a video that advocated only one side of a referendum question that was pending before Village voters.
The Notices of Violation, issued against former Mayor Paul Arohnson and former Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld, both arose out of a June 21, 2016 referendum question which sought $11,500,000 in bonds or notes to finance the cost of constructing a new parking deck. Under New Jersey law, government officials may use public resources to educate--but not to persuade--voters on public issues.