The James Madison Center filed two federal lawsuits on Friday, April 3, 2009, to challenge the IRS definition of "political intervention," which has been used by the IRS to stifle the legitimate speech activities of many non-profit organizations.
For decades the IRS has applied an "all the facts and circumstances" test to the grass roots lobbying, issue advocacy and voter education activity of non-profits to determine if the non-profit has actually engaged in prohibited political activity. Furthermore, this vague IRS test has been exploited by some liberal groups to threaten and harass churches and other non-profits, causing many of them to be fearful of IRS retribution if they discussed moral or public policy issues. Non-profits have even shied away from legitimate grass roots lobbying activity in fear that it will be considered political intervention. As a result, the legitimate speech activities of many non-profits have been chilled and their free speech rights infringed.
Washington DC - Effective September 1, 2009 the federal government shall be transitioning to four digit acronyms for all of its agencies. The current use of three digits only allows for only 1,692 combinations (accounting for unusable acronyms due to current usage). Transitioning to four digits will allow for over four hundred thousand combinations.
This change is necessary because with the current growth rate the federal government is expected to run out of usable acronyms by the summer of 2010. Existing agencies will have an A added to the end (unless such use conflicts with an existing usage).
The Office of Federal Registry (OFRA) shall shortly be publishing a list of all updated acronyms.
Heard on Off the Hook.
Read the full article...
The mother of the New Jersey girl whose death inspired Megan's Law is criticizing prosecutors who charge teenagers with child porn for distributing nude photos of themselves.
Maureen Kanka said Thursday that the prosecutors are harming the children more than helping them.
Her comments came as authorities in Passaic County charged a 14-year-old girl with child pornography for posting nude photos of herself on MySpace.com.
If she is convicted, she would have to register with the state as a sex offender under Megan's Law.
In an unpublished decision released today, the Appellate Division affirmed a trial court's dismissal of Doris Lin's First Amendment case against the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The decision is on-line HERE.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.”
From the Cato Institute:
There is plenty of disagreement on whether a big-government stimulus project is the best way to bring the United States out of recession. The Cato Institute purchased a full-page ad in major newspapers across the country listing the names of several hundred economists who object to massive deficit spending as an economic stimulus. Cato scholars and ad signatories have made their case on television since the spending program was proposed.
The Democrats have adopted the behavior of George Bush with the Big Spending/Corporate Welfare Bill being rushed through congress. George W. Bush used 911 to increase executive power and to immensely increase the size government. Now Barack Obama is using the same tactics with the financial crisis. I at one time had hope for Obama. Boy was I wrong.
George W. Bush made the same mistakes as Herbert Hoover, and Obama is making the same mistakes as Roosevelt. During Obama's speech last night he clearly believes that Rooselvelt's New Deal worked. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Myth of the Laissez-Faire Bush Years
By Anthony Gregory
One of the most pernicious misconceptions of our time is that the Bush administration represented an era of free-market capitalism. By wrongly blaming the financial crisis and economic woes associated with Bush on his alleged devotion to laissez-faire, many in the mainstream press, academia and political life are misdiagnosing the problem and prescribing the wrong solution: More government, which will in reality only make things worse.
Published on FreedomWorks.org:
By: Matt Kibbe
When you get beyond the rhetoric of change, it is astonishing how close President Barack Obama is following his predecessor in economic policy. Just as George W. Bush attempted to jump-start the economy with a jolt of hundreds of billions of dollars, Obama is doubling down on the bailout bets. In the Troubled Assets Relief Program process, the legislative branch is authorizing nearly a trillion dollars in spending.
But isn’t this backward? Doesn’t Congress have the sole power to authorize executive branch spending, and the president, the power to veto congressional spending authorizations?
"The government is bailing out the banks...but who's going to bail out the government?" asks Texas cotton farmer Ken Gallaway, a vocal critic of agricultural subsidies that cost U.S. taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars a year in direct payments and higher prices for farm goods.
Agricultural subsidies were put in place in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when 25 percent of Americans lived on farms. At the time, Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace called them "a temporary solution to deal with an emergency." Those programs are still in place today, even though less than 1 percent of Americans currently live on farms that are larger, more efficient, and more productive than ever before.
Recently a reporter contacted me to ask what President Obama's top priorities should be. I, being lazy and not having time to answer myself, passed the question on to several NJ Libertarian activists. Below is a sample of the responses I received:
NEPTUNE — The one-year ban on the use of eminent domain on most properties in the township approved Monday by the Township Committee may be extended to a permanent ban by spring.
Committeeman Randy Bishop asked that an ordinance banning abuse of the practice be discussed at the next committee meeting, set for Jan. 26. Bishop has tried to get the ordinance approved for the past two years, but could not get the necessary three votes.