Sussex County Freeholders moving ahead with ballot question on Murphy lawlessness

According to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger this morning, County Clerk Jeff Parrott has taken sides with the administration of Democrat Governor Phil Murphy:

“Sussex County Clerk Jeffrey Parrott on Friday sided with (Murphy political appointee) Gurbir Grewal in disallowing a ballot question, approved by the all-Republican freeholder board in April and supported by County Sheriff Michael Strada, that would have directed the sheriff to ignore Grewal’s (pro-illegal alien ‘Sanctuary State’) directives…”

Governor Murphy is using Grewal, his appointed Attorney General, in an attempt to bully and intimidate the elected Freeholders of Sussex County into ending plans to allow the people the right to vote on a public question on the November ballot.  The Murphy administration is doing this concurrent with plans to allow illegal aliens to have drivers licenses and to give incarcerated violent criminals the right to vote and hire lobbyists. 

That is correct.  Not only do the Democrats want to take away the right of the people of Sussex County to have a democratic vote concerning a function of government they pay for out of their property taxes – the Democrats want to give violent felons the right to vote while in prison, after being convicted of violent crimes.  It is a simple case of good and evil.  It could not be much clearer as to who the “bad guys” are.  

This morning’s newspaper story goes on to note that County Clerk Parrott decided to side with the Murphy administration even after the Sussex County Freeholders had decided to hire a special counsel to fight Murphy and his political appointee.  The Star-Ledger reported that on Wednesday evening the Sussex County Freeholders hired State GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, a conservative stalwart, to do battle with Murphy.  Steinhardt is charged with creating an updated ballot question with language that defeats the legal objections raised by the Murphy administration, so that Murphy and his cronies cannot hold up its placement on the ballot through legal maneuverings.

County Clerk Parrott did not consult with fellow Republicans before deciding to join the Murphy administration in its opposition to the elected Sussex County Freeholder Board and to the people’s right to vote.  According to those close to the County Clerk, Parrott’s taxpayer-paid-for attorney does not believe that county taxpayers have the right to vote on issues that affect the performance of county functions that they pay for entirely out of their highest-in-the-nation property taxes.  Taxation without the right to vote sounds pretty un-American to us.   

The Freeholders are resolved to fight the Murphy administration, with or without the assistance of the County Clerk.  In the event that the County Clerk remains in the camp of the Democrat Governor, the Freeholders could bring a lawsuit to compel the Clerk to place the public question on the November ballot. 

Before sexualizing children. Why not have a debate?

By Rubashov

Is it the ACLU’s fault?  Or is it the people who fund them who have changed? 

We all remember how the ACLU stood up for Freedom of Speech – even when it meant protecting that freedom for people with whom they had absolutely no sympathy.   It was the ACLU who famously set the parameters of First Amendment protections in the 1970’s, when the organization defended the right of the American Nazi Party to march through Skokie, Illinois, a town chosen by the Nazis for its ethnic and religious make-up.  Placing their loathing of the Nazis aside, the ACLU stood with the American Bill of Rights to argue that the Nazis had the right to transgressive speech – the right to knowingly offend. 

Of course, transgressive speech is the very foundation of comedy, and there was some wisdom in the suggestion that we laugh at the Nazis, their silly uniforms, and that flag.  Better to laugh at them, to tolerate them, than to become them, so the wisdom went. 

But times have changed.

The ACLU is under pressure from the people who fund it, from its donor class, as are politicians from all parties and persuasions.  There is a new public religion and it is in the process of driving out its competition from the public square.

And just as transubstantiation demands that its believers accept that bread and wine is changed into flesh and blood, so in this new religion, a person with a penis can be made woman.  It is mystical, faith-based, beyond debate or reason.  It is religion.

Central to this new religion is a persecution myth.  Just as the early Christians had their martyrs and their festivals of remembrance, this new religion has its Stonewall, its AIDS epidemic, its accounts of martyrdom.  The carnality of it – the sex – is all scrubbed from the accounts.  The public face of this new religion is Neo-Victorian in its use of language – “No Sex, please” – this is all about “Love”.

Proselytizing to children is central to all religions, but especially so to groups who make the oppression of the faith central to their ideology.  This was so with Jim Jones, David Koresh, the “Children of God” cult, and many others.  Did they not all operate under the banner that children be sexualized at the earliest possible moment?  Did they not preach endlessly about “Love”?  That “Love is the Answer”, “Love is Love”? 

Sex is as addictive as tobacco and like the sellers of cigarettes (or narcotics) they like to get them while they’re young.  So they come for the children.  Public libraries host “drag queen story hours” for little children, with readings by folks with names like “Lil Miss Hot Mess”.  Isn’t “hot” an explicitly sexual term?  School curriculums now include such varied activities as “condom races” – in which 10 and 11 year-old girls compete to be the first to put a condom on a model of an erect adult male penis.  All watched by their male classmates.  Magazines like Teen Vogue – specifically marketed to children – argue that prostitution is just a job, work like any other, with no moral or psychological concerns whatsoever. 

This is all part of this new public religion.  So a new law, signed by Governor Phil Murphy, mandates the teaching of people from history based on how their alleged sexual practices conform to one of a series of letters (LGBTQ…).  It’s a rather shallow way to teach, for how can the endless ways in which human beings order their lives really be bound and categorized by a half dozen letters – or indeed, a thousand? 

Within the last few days, a School Trustee in Hackensack had the temerity to express an opinion on the new mandate that failed to conform to the new public religion.  In response, Garden State Equality (GSE) – the “LGBTQ” equivalent of Hezbollah – went all jihadist on the trustee, demanding that she be forced into submission or made to resign and shunned thereafter. 

An email from GSE made it clear that they weren’t stopping with her:  “It’s imperative that each and every education official across New Jersey understands that our curriculum law must be faithfully implemented.”  Each and every.  There is no place for religious dissent. 

A GSE supporter reached out and noted that the trustee in question used the term “repugnant” to describe “the LGBTQ lifestyle.”  The term is generally used when describing something that the user finds “distasteful” or that the user is “incompatible” with.  It must be noted that many of our fellow human beings do find such sexual practices as oral or anal sex “distasteful” and that they are “incompatible” with same. 

We are not speaking here for Phil and Tammy Murphy, or Valerie Vainieri Huttle, or Jim Tedesco, or Gordon Johnson, or Loretta Weinberg, or indeed for the other politicians who have condemned the use of the term “repugnant.”  What they find “tasteful”, what they are “compatible” with, what their appetites bend towards is entirely their business.  And we would defend their endorsement of oral or anal sex as much as we defend the right of others not to enjoy such things.  Whatever floats your boat, as they say. 

But expressing one’s sexual preferences, one’s choice, is not welcome by the new “public” religion.  Blank conformity is what is expected.  Every public statement, written or spoken must conform.  The new religion allows no public expression of older religions.  All must conform… or they will be made to conform. 

Having gained significant cadres amongst elites in government, the media, in education, and with One-Percenters who control the corporate world, the new religion is attempting a top-down takeover of the public square – bullying out older religions, forcing compliance and general conformity of expressed opinion.  They seem to forget that Americans are contrarian by nature.  Nonconformity is the way with us and we will continue to practice it, even while being oppressed and punished for doing so. 

Of course, this is another reason why they want our children.  But then they forget that generations of Soviet indoctrination did not extinguish the seed of traditional faith in Russia or in Eastern Europe. 

This is an interesting topic that should be debated openly and honestly.  Instead, jihadists like Garden State Equality are concerned only with bullying and banning public dissent.  They don’t care if people dishonestly mouth those allowed saccharine platitudes, so long as they mouth them.

Instead of punishing questioning minds, why not debate them?  Before we allow government – in service of the new public religion – to continue to sexualize children, why not have an open and honest debate on the subject? 

Maybe a group like the Center for Garden State Families or the New Jersey Family Policy Council will set up a series of open discussions on the Murphy administration’s sexualization of young children.  Then they can invite folks like Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle to explain what they like and don’t like – and how they came to embrace the new religion (HINT: Check their campaign finance reports, and you will know why).

Before the Murphy Democrats force one more unfunded mandate on the property taxpayers of New Jersey… have an open and honest debate about their need to sexualize children.

Phil Murphy tries to suppress voting in Sussex County

In a move that is rich in hypocrisy, the Murphy administration has “ordered” the Sussex County Clerk, Jeff Parrott, not to place on the ballot a public question that allows voters in that county to instruct their Sheriff on the Sanctuary State directive issued by Governor Murphy’s attorney general.  The ballot question gives voters a choice to instruct their county Sheriff to (1) obey the state directive or (2) follow the laws passed by the Congress of the United States of America, signed by successive Presidents of both parties, and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. 

So Phil Murphy is telling Sussex County that they must obey him – and join him in disobeying the laws of the United States of America.  And he is attempting to suppress the rights of voters to have a say in the matter.

The “order” was issued by Murphy ally Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who Murphy appointed in January of 2018.  The Attorney General is the scion of a very wealthy but controversial family of developers.  And it is no secret that Grewal is angling for a spot in some future Democrat administration in Washington, DC, if he can get past the confirmation hearings (which are a whole lot tougher in Washington than they are in Trenton).  That controversial family of developers thing again (it’ll get you every time).

The “order” to deprive the voters of their right to voice their opinions on a ballot question pits Murphy and Grewal against Sussex County’s Sheriff, Mike Strada, who has strongly supported the ballot question and opposed Murphy’s Sanctuary State plan every step of the way. Strada, a career law enforcement officer who led a U.S. Army platoon in Iraq (Desert Storm), has no time for federal law breakers like Murphy and Grewal.

murphy grewal.jpg

Murphy & Grewal vs. Sheriff Mike Strada

 
StradaPortrait+2019.jpg
 

New Jersey Herald reporter Bruce Scruton did a good job of covering this breaking story, which appeared on that newspaper’s website late last night.  It can be accessed here:

https://www.njherald.com/20190524/attorney-general-nixes-countys-anti-sanctuary-ballot-question

Reactions from the Freeholders have been mixed, with some clearly in the mood to stand up for the rights of voters and others a bit tepid.  Four of the five member freeholder board cast votes in support of the ballot question earlier this year, but there is a long history in Sussex County of elected officials taking the advice of “go-along-to-get-along” establishment types.  This is what lured them into the solar debacle that cost taxpayers $26 million but has yet to identify a guilty party (despite nearly $600,000 in “studies” to find out what went wrong and who done it).

You can’t put a cost on doing the right thing – and the right thing is standing up for the right to vote and the primacy of the Constitution of the United States of America.  Too often doing the right thing is dismissed on grounds of cost (unless it can be monetized, as with the $600,000 in “studies” into the solar debacle). 

This is a moment of truth for Sussex County Republicans.  We’ve heard a lot about the “walk away” movement among the Democrats.  Republicans should understand the frustrations of their own base – at least enough to prevent a “walk away” movement of their own.

Bramnick has a message. Will NJ Republicans follow?

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick recently released this most excellent video.  Bramnick starts by detailing what Republicans are against

But then, more importantly, Bramnick lays out three solid policy positions that points New Jersey Republicans in the direction of what we should be for

(1) Cap State Spending at 2% (just like local government spending is capped).

(2) Cut the State Income Tax by 10% (make NJ more competitive w. other states).

(3) Full Deduction of Property Taxes on the State Income Tax (a move that takes the property tax issue away from Democrats like Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill, and Josh Gottheimer).

In the video, Bramnick is engaging, folksy, and compelling.  So finally, here is the core of something to move the Republican Party forward.  So why isn’t everyone banging the same drum? 

Two days after Bramnick’s video went up on Youtube, the NJGOP – the State Republican Party – blasted out its weekly newsletter via email.  There was some very good stuff in there.  Unfortunately, the Assembly Republican Leader’s video was not part of the newsletter.  An oversight that should be corrected at the earliest opportunity. 

On Thursday, the Garden State Initiative – a free-market, pro-business think tank – held a meeting about the state of New Jersey’s economy and how it can be improved.  All the experts present agreed that the business climate went south after the Democrats gained control over the Legislature, nearly two decades ago.

That said, the most prominent plan for recovery featured at the gathering was the one put forward by Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat and so a leader in the party responsible for the downturn in the first place.  As with legislation protecting the Bill of Rights (specifically the 2nd Amendment) and culturally traditionalist social legislation (like the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Protection Act), the Senate President will always be handicapped in how much he can accomplish by his need to appease the far-Left of his party’s caucus.  In the end, Sweeney will go as far as Leftist Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg allows him to go – and is anyone under the illusion that this Marxist-lite fellow-traveler is pro-business or pro-taxpayer?

In a column published on his Save Jersey news website, Matt Rooney brilliantly dissected the Trenton Democrats last week…  

We hear a lot about the “working class” from Trenton, but each and every policy and budget are designed to put the screws to taxpayers in favor of keeping these rich guys and their power structures chugging right along.

What I’m saying is that Democrats’ lofty rhetoric doesn’t match their reality. On either side of this fight. New Jersey’s true form of government is a blend of socialism and oligarchy (with a sprinkle of kleptocracy for good measure).

So why aren’t pro-business and pro-taxpayer forces pushing the Republican Plan put forward by Bramnick and making its three points the basis of not only the recovery of our party’s fortunes, but those of the state’s taxpayers?  Why aren’t they pulling together behind the Bramnick plan, then building on it, to tackle the obvious divide between the haves (those municipalities who bathe in money, courtesy of the Abbott decision) and the have nots (those who pay the highest property taxes in America)?   

As New Jersey 101.5’s Dennis Malloy recently noted, the public frustration over property taxes and government in the Garden State is stifling:  “Being the state with the highest property taxes in the nation used to be the number one issue in almost any campaign for public office in New Jersey. Lately, (crickets)! Why? …most people have given up hope that it will ever be normal or fair or affordable to most people. There is no one on the horizon with the guts to be honest about it and promise to fix it…” 

And yet, in the midst of this frustration, there are thousands of brave souls who are spending their time and energy – both in and outside social media – to address the oppression of their neighbors and fellow taxpayers.  Too often, they find themselves on their own, without the assistance or direction from the Republican Party, the business community, or even established figures within the state’s conservative movement. 

Take the grassroots effort to Recall Governor Phil Murphy, as an example.  This effort is in the process of training hundreds of volunteers in the basics of one-on-one political outreach that could be harvested in future GOTV operations.  But is anyone providing them with any real assistance?  Listen to this appeal from one of the most effective recall leaders, Bill Hayden of Sussex County:

https://www.facebook.com/raidenhayden/videos/10214053859525724/?notif_id=1557702128406942&notif_t=live_video

In May 1940, the allied armies of France, Great Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands faced the threat posed by a newly re-armed Germany.  One of the great myths about the Fall of France is that the Germans had more tanks.  They did not.  In numbers, weaponry, and armor-protection, the German tanks were outclassed by those of the French Army and its allies.  So why did the Germans so easily over-power the superior tanks of the French?

The French used their tanks piecemeal and fought actions individually.  Many were not even equipped with radios.  The Germans fought coordinated actions, in which not only individual tanks within a unit fought in support of each other, but entire units worked in concert with other units to achieve a particular goal.  It wasn’t hardware that won the battle, but tactics – how the hardware was used. 

The three major units of New Jersey’s Republican Party – the State Committee (NJGOP), the Senate Republican Majority (SRM), and the Assembly Republican Victory (ARV) – do not work in concert or present a unified message or vision.  From there is gets worse.  Each county, each candidate, each club marches to its own beat.  And the party is barely on speaking terms with the movement conservatives who make up its base and constitute its most loyal voters.  Working together could amplify a message and make it punch through to distracted voters.  But instead of amplification, we have a cacophony of murmurs, each from its own silo.   

Jon Bramnick has offered a simple, three-point way forward.  Everyone should amplify it.  That would make a start at working in concert.

At Thursday’s meeting, Garden State Initiative President Regina Egea said voters should ask every politician how they intend to lower the cost of living and the cost of doing business.  The Bramnick Plan provides the answers.

Sussex video shows how easy it is to punk the media.

The day after the Andy Boden for Sheriff campaign attempted to shake down the local Republican Party, a doctored video was distributed purporting to show their opponent in a compromising #MeToo situation.  The Boden campaign had specifically referenced said video in its shake down attempt.  They claimed that the video had been obtained by off-duty corrections officers (men with badges and guns) in an unofficial political surveillance operation.

The doctored video was released to more than 150 media outlets, using a fake Facebook account, under the name of someone who does not exist.  The Boden campaign refused to comment to the media.  Candidate Boden likewise refused to comment.   

In published stories, the media admitted that it could not locate any person associated with the fake Facebook account.  48 hours after the doctored video was posted, the fake Facebook account disappeared.

Nevertheless, several media outlets not only published the doctored video, but published a long, rambling press release – issued on a fake Facebook account by an entity that does not exist – treating it as a factual statement.  And they did so despite the fact that they could not locate any actual person who would vouch for its authorship.

Despite clear evidence of alteration and it lack of provenance, these media outlets failed to test the technological accuracy of the doctored video.  Surprisingly, they behaved as if they operated sometime in the 1950’s – before technological changes, particularly in digital technology, had turned the old phrase “seeing is believing” on its head.  For instance, does anyone really believe that Tom Hanks is shaking the hand of President Kennedy in this video?

In September of last year, Bloomberg reported on the threat to authenticity posed by “deep fake video technology” and warned media outlets that “fake videos and audio keep getting better, faster and easier to make, increasing the mind-blowing technology’s potential for harm if put in the wrong hands.”  The story suggested that all video should be closely examined and vetted by technological professionals before being cited as a source. 

The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is clear: 

-       Ethical journalists take responsibility for their work.  Verify information before releasing it.

-       Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.

-       Identify sources clearly.  The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.

-       Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information.

-       Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information.

-       Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort.  Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

-       Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves… Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.

-       Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.

-       Expose unethical conduct in journalism.

-       Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.

Those media that reported on this, handled it like a #MeToo situation.  In fact, there was no complaint by anyone claiming to be a victim.  Instead, the complaint came from the illicit surveillance operation.

Sources claim that the corrections officers who conducted the operation took what they had to the home of a former elected official/computer expert, and that he “cleaned it up” or “enhanced” it.  The backstory here is that the corrections officers are angry with the incumbent Sheriff because the county jail is being downsized, which has placed some of their jobs in jeopardy.  Off course, this downsizing is a consequence of Bail Reform passed as a ballot question in November 2014.  With a dwindling jail population, the Sheriff cannot justify maintaining high levels of staffing and the consequent cost to property taxpayers in Sussex County.  Estimates of the cost to refurbish the jail for other purposes run upwards of $60 million and the Freeholder Board is in no place to raise taxes or debt to accommodate such costs.  The doctored video is seen as a desperate move by a few, very disgruntled, corrections officers.

That said, the role played by the media outlets tricked into distributing this video – and their willingness to be punked by a fake Facebook account – is a matter for concern, especially as it will only get easier to fake videos in the future.  Perhaps this is a case for the Ethics Committee of the SPJ?  Stay tuned…