Memorial Day Remembrance

Courtesy of Sussex County Watchdog

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for "Decoration Day" to be observed annually and nationwide; he was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), an organization of and for Union Civil War veterans.  His proclamation, Logan adopted the Memorial Day practice that had begun in the Southern states three years earlier.

The first Northern Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868. The northern states quickly adopted the holiday. In 1868, memorial events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states, and 336 in 1869. In 1871, Michigan made "Decoration Day" an official state holiday and by 1890, every northern state had followed suit. By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead had been reinterred in 73 national cemeteries, located near major battlefields and thus mainly in the South. The most famous are Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania and Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.

Since 1868 Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks County, in Pennsylvania, has held annual Memorial Day parades which it claims to be the nation's oldest continuously running.

Here is a clip from a movie about the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the “bravest of the brave” preparing for the storming of the Confederate Fort Wagner, in 1863.

Sussex County boosts one current and one former infantryman serving or having recently served in elected office.  Sheriff Mike Strada was a platoon leader (SGT) in Iraq during Desert Storm.  Former Freeholder Rich Vohden served in the Korean War in the U.S. Army Infantry.

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Democrats are so obsessed with Ass, they forgot about WWI

World War One… the Great War… the War to End All Wars… ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.  Yes, what came to be known as Armistice Day – later Veterans Day – had its 100th Anniversary on November 11, 2018.

The New Jersey Legislature didn’t notice it.  They must have forgotten about the estimated 40 million people who died… among them 116,708 American soldiers, sailors, and marines.  Another 757 American civilians died. 204,009 American military personnel were wounded.

The Democrats who run the Legislature said piss on the dead… piss on the military, on the veterans… we have Ass, what more do we need?

Tomorrow, January 31st, the Assembly will be voting on AJR-160, a resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.  This resolution was introduced on September 27, 2018 and could have been passed before Veterans Days – in time for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day!

Instead, the Democrats were too busy with transgendered this or that and special deals for people based on who they choose to bed down with or what gender they want to call themselves that day.  They were too busy to take a vote to remember their war dead.

The VFW is right when they said:  “There is no excuse for a vote on this bill to be delayed until 81 days after the day we commemorate the sacrifices of America's veterans.  It is shameful that laws can be fast tracked to give folks in the country illegally free college and legal representation but a day honoring veterans is put on the back burner.”

As recently as this past December, the New Jersey Assembly Education Committee heard testimony for an unfunded mandate to require that all school districts in all grades teach – not about WWI – but about the “contributions” of people based on who they sleep with.  The Democrats even brought in what they claimed to be a “transgendered 11-year-old” and behaved as if this troubled child was some sort of side-show. The Democrats applauded and congratulated the child – lauding the minor’s behavior as an act of “bravery” while casually forgetting the bravery of the 4.7 million Americans who served in World War One.

The VFW notes:

“As of January 15, 2019 there have been approximately 400 veteran & military affairs bills presented in the current NJ Legislature.  In the past 13 months only four bills have been signed into law:

P.L.2018, JR.10.  Designates October 3rd of each year as "Sergeant Dominick Pilla and Corporal Jamie Smith Day" in New Jersey. Approved 10/3/2018. (SJR75/AJR129)

 P.L.2018, c.77.  Requires public utility to charge veterans' organization residential rate for service delivered to property at which veterans' organization primarily operates. Approved 8/10/2018. (A837/S2446)

 P.L.2018, c.78 Revises law concerning reciprocity for out-of-State professional and occupational licenses. Approved 8/10/2018.

 P.L.2018, c.149. Makes General Fund supplemental appropriation of $250,000 to New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. Approved 2/17/2018. (A4315/S2839)” 

The VFW has been advocating get the Senate and Assembly to vote on the following:

A832 Extends Class Two special law enforcement training for time deployed. Reported out of Assembly Military & Veterans’ Affairs Committee, 2nd Reading 9/17/2018.

 A2550 Permits certain health care professionals to waive health insurance copayments for members of military serving on active duty. Reported from Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading 9/17/2018.

 A3093 Waives boat safety course requirement for veterans and active duty members of military with maritime training. Reported from Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading 1/24/2019.

 AJR11 Designates fourth week of March of each year as "Military Caregivers Week." Reported from Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee, 2nd Reading 6/14/2018.

 AR85 Urges Congress enact Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act. Reported from Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee, 2nd Reading 10/18/2018.

 AR163 Urges United States Congress to pass legislation to automatically enroll veterans for benefits they are entitled to in United States Department of Veterans Affairs system. Reported from Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee, 2nd Reading 10/18/2018. 

S915 Permits certain portion of municipal development trust funds to be spent on housing affordability assistance to veterans.

SCR120 Urges Congress to enact reforms addressing sexual harassment and assault in United States Armed Forces.

Let’s hope that the Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature start showing at least the same attention to American veterans – those who are defined by their military service to the Republic – as they lavish upon those who define themselves by their sexual preferences.

How Steve Oroho finished what Jay Webber started

In the Legislature, you can be a conservative in one of two ways... broadly speaking.  One way is to be a conscience, sit above it all, and vote accordingly.  You could not find a more perfect example of this than Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, who negotiates the prickly halls of Trenton with a Zen assuredness.  He always knows the right thing to do... and he always does it.  Instead of the wilting figure of John McCann, the YR's and CR's could do no better than to adopt Assemblyman Carroll as their Sensei.

The other way is to wade into the muck in an attempt to climb aboard the ship of state and steer it in a more desirable direction.  Sometimes the engine isn't even working and you might need to get down into the boiler room -- knee deep in waste -- and grapple with the machinery of government, just to get it sputtering in some direction.

Assemblyman Jay Webber takes this course... to a point.  He seems well enough suited to steer, but when it comes to the engine room, he doesn't want to get his hands dirty.  That's where he differs from Senator Steve Oroho.  Oroho accepts that he will have to endure the heat and muck in order to get the machine running -- and he doesn't mind busting a knuckle or two while grabbling with a boiler wrench.

A prime example are their differing approaches to preventing the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) from going bankrupt and ending the Estate Tax.  Two very conservative causes.  The TTF, funded by a gas tax, was right out of the Reagan mantra of using user taxes to fund public infrastructure.  Those who use the roads should pay for them, said Reagan, no free rides!  While the death tax -- which is what an Estate Tax is -- has been identified by conservatives for years as the destroyer of small businesses and the ruination of family farms.

Jay Webber waded into the issue assuredly enough.  On October 14, 2014, the Star-Ledger published a column by the Assemblyman.  It's title was "Fixing transportation and taxes together."  Webber was writing about how to raise the gas tax to re-fund the nearly bankrupt TTF, while offsetting that tax increase with cuts to other taxes.  He zeroed in on the Estate Tax:

"NEW JERSEY leaders are grappling with three major problems: First, New Jersey has the worst tax burden in the nation. Two, New Jersey's economy suffers from sluggish growth. And third, our state's Transportation Trust Fund is out of money. There is a potential principled compromise that can help solve all of them.

Of the three problems, the Transportation Trust Fund has been getting the most attention lately, and for good reason: It's broke. There is just no money in it to maintain and improve our vital infrastructure. Without finding a solution, we risk watching our roads and bridges grow unsafe and unusable and hinder movement of people and goods throughout the state. That, of course, will exacerbate our state's slow economic growth.

...we should insist that if any tax is raised to restore the TTF, it be coupled with the elimination of a tax that is one of our state's biggest obstacles to economic growth: the death tax. By any measure, New Jersey is the most extreme outlier on the death tax, with worst-in-the-nation status...

New Jersey's death tax is not a concern for the wealthy alone, as many misperceive. We are one of only two states with both an estate and inheritance tax. New Jersey's estate-tax threshold of $675,000, combined with a tax rate as high as 16 percent, means that middle-class families with average-sized homes and small retirement savings are hit hard by the tax.

It also means the tax affects small businesses or family farms of virtually any size, discouraging investment and growth among our private-sector job creators. Compounding the inequity is that government already has taxed the assets subject to the death tax when the money was earned. Because of our onerous estate and inheritance taxes, Forbes magazine lists New Jersey as a place "Not to Die" in 2014.

That's a problem, and it's one our sister states are trying hard not to duplicate. A recent study by Connecticut determined that states with no estate tax created twice as many jobs and saw their economies grow 50 percent more than states with estate taxes. That research prompted Connecticut and many states to reform their death taxes. New York just lowered its death tax, and several other states have eliminated theirs.

The good news is that New Jersey's leaders finally are realizing that our confiscatory death tax is a big deal. A bipartisan coalition of legislators has shown its support for reforming New Jersey's death tax..."

Taking Webber's lead, Senator Steve Oroho got to work and began the painstakingly long process of negotiation with the majority Democrats.  Oroho was animated by the basic unfairness that New Jersey taxpayers were under-writing out-of-state drivers to the tune of a half-billion dollars a year.  He understood that if the TTF went bankrupt, the cost would flip to county and local governments... resulting in an average $500 property tax increase.  Oroho went to battle to prevent this disaster and even had to stand up to Governor Chris Christie, who wanted to end negotiations too soon and accept a weaker deal from the Democrats.

Unfortunately, Assemblyman Webber didn't stick with it.  When the time came for Jay Webber to be counted as part of that bipartisan coalition, he couldn't be counted on.  Jay got scared off by the lobbyist arm of the petroleum industry and what's worse is that he started attacking those who did what he advocated doing only a short time before. 

Remember that it was Webber who wrote these words in that column more than three years ago:  "Any gas-tax increase should be accompanied by measures that will help alleviate, or at least not increase, the overall tax burden on New Jerseyans." Jay Webber wrote those words, setting the direction.  Steve Oroho was left on his own to get the job done -- to do the negotiating.  The helmsman had abandoned the engineer. 

Webber said at the time that he believed the bipartisan tax restructuring package worked out by the legislative leaders (minus Senator Tom Kean Jr.) and the Governor would result in a net tax increase.  Oroho and others disagreed with him.  Webber is by all accounts a good lawyer, but Oroho is the numbers man.  He's a certified financial planner and CPA.  Before beginning his career of public service, Steve Oroho was a senior financial officer for S&P 500 companies like W. R. Grace and  Young & Rubicam.  It was this knowledge that enabled him to fashion the compromise that he did -- one that turned out to be the largest tax cut in New Jersey's history.

In the end, the Democrats' 40-cent increase on the gas tax was paired down to 23-cents.  The gas tax, the proceeds from which funds the TTF, had not been adjusted for inflation in 28 years, had not provided enough funding to cover annual operations in 25 years, and wasn't even bringing in enough money to pay the interest on the borrowing that was done to keep operations going (in 2015, the state collected just $750 million from the gas tax while incurring an annual debt cost of $1.1 billion).  Even so, Senator Oroho knew exactly where to draw the line... at the minimalist 23 cents and not the 40 cents the Democrats plausibly argued for.

In the end, the engineer got the job done.  Senator Steve Oroho emerged from the boiler room triumphant.  He ended the Estate Tax and secured tax cuts for retirees, veterans, small businesses, farmers, consumers, and low-income workers.  He secured property tax relief by doubling the TTF's local financial aid to towns and counties -- and prevented a $500 per household property tax hike.  He made out-of-state drivers pay for using New Jersey's roads -- and ensured that New Jerseyans will continue to have safe roads and bridges to drive on.

Oroho's tax cuts were praised by conservative groups like Americans for Tax Reform and conservative publications like Forbes, which called his tax cuts "one of the 5 best state and local tax policy changes in 2016 nationwide." 

That's getting something done.   

McCann trashed law enforcement officers. Read their stories.

The Bergen Record has identified McCann as the "right hand man" to Democrat Sheriff Michael Saudino.  It was Saudino's feud with the Republican County Executive that undermined and ultimately lost Republicans control of Bergen County.  The coup de grace came when Saudino, a one-time Republican, joined Hillary Clinton and Josh Gottheimer on a ticket that crushed Republicans in Bergen County. 

John McCann remained Sheriff Saudino's consigliore through all of this and ran for Congress (as a Republican) with Saudino's blessing and while still on the Democrat's payroll.  Sheriff Saudino has formally endorsed fellow Democrat Josh Gottheimer for re-election this year. 

The media has recently reported on 22 Bergen County officers who claimed they were wrongly terminated or mistreated.  In a class action suit, the officers accuse Sheriff Saudino of demoting or firing qualified officers out of spite or for political retaliation.  Saudino, who supported Gottheimer for his stance on LGBT issues, is accused of allowing the "despicable and dehumanizing treatment" of a gay police officer.

A federal lawsuit filed last year contains the personal testimony of dozens of veteran law enforcement officers who fell victim to a power play by the Democrat Sheriff of Bergen County.  Here are a few of their stories:

"In 2014 my wife and I decided to have our 2nd child even though there were talks of merging The Bergen County Police with the Sheriff's Department.  we both agreed that we could afford to make this life changing decision based on the fact that the merger specifically stated there would be no layoffs, and no decrease in pay.

We had purchased a smaller home, which needed improvements... We are not going to be able to make these improvements or expand our home due to the impending layoff or pay decrease.  In fact we may lose our home if these changes take place.

My wife and I were discussing the possibility of having a third child as recently as February of this year.  However this will not happen now because of these layoffs."

***

"In 2015, I got engaged.  In 2016, I got married and purchased a home.  In 2017, I welcomed another child into my family... I have a wife and two children, ages 6 and 3 months.  Now with the threat of a potential layoff, not only will my life be affected, but my family will be negatively affected as well."

***

"I have been employed by Bergen County as a Police Officer since July, 2004.  I have recently re-financed my 30 year mortgage to a 15 year mortgage due to the promise that the Sheriff, County Executive, and Freeholder Board made that my job was safe when they merged us.  I am also the caregiver to my elderly parents... If I am demoted, I will not be able to afford the extra payments that a 15 year mortgage brings as well as care for my parents in a way that they deserve."

***

"I can personally say the moral and pride I had as a County Police Officer has been stripped away and this entire process has affected me personally.  I never knew what it was like to go to work and be unhappy.  I've always loved my career and the organization I worked for.  There are often times I get sick to my stomach thinking of how the politicians have destroyed this place and everything it represented.  My mind is consumed with thoughts of whether or not I will be able to retire..."

***

"I am a single father of two children.  I have full custody of my children... I had financial plans in place to send my oldest daughter who is currently in high school to attend specific colleges she had picked out.  With this demotion I will no longer be able to pay for my daughter's college education..."

***

"In August of 1996 I joined what I believed was a dedicated profession and well known department... I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1982... I was activated in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm... I retired with 20 years of service in 2003.

...I have made many life choices on the promises and assurance my family and I would be able to live without the threat of losing our home or not being able to afford the basic simple lifestyle we have had in our lives.  Upon the assurance of the County of Bergen, the politicians and the Bergen County Sheriff my family committed to providing an education for my son that now involves the payment of an incredible amount of education loans."

***

"I am currently a Police Officer with the Bergen County Sheriff's Department... I am also a United States Disabled Combat Veteran.  I served four and a half years with the 82nd Airborne Division, with a fifteen-month deployment to Iraq as an Infantryman... With the promise of job security, I continued my life as any other reasonable person would have.  I recently purchased a home and have plans to marry my longtime girlfriend, whom this layoff also affects tremendously..."

***

It's no wonder then that candidate John McCann is so agitated by questions regarding the cummulation of power by Democrat politicians (and the concurrent loss of power of local elected Republicans).

Democrats want taxpayers to fund LGBT lobbyists

Yesterday we wrote about how Democrat legislators use public committee hearings to raise money from Garden State Equality (GSE), a notoriously political gay-rights lobbying and campaign organization.  We covered Monday's Assembly Budget Committee hearing, at which Democrat Assemblymen John "Porno" Burzichelli, "Hammerless Troy" Singleton, and Gary "The Hand" Schaer behaved like puppies trying to edge each other out in the effort lick the butt of their paymasters from Garden State Equality.

Today we follow that up with a piece of legislation designed to use the power of government itself -- and your tax dollars -- to fund Garden State Equality's lobbying and political efforts.  In effect, the Democrats want to create a program of government -funded lobbying and political campaign activity -- but only for one side. 

And this is being done expressly for Garden State Equality, a group with a history of threatening Democrats when they don't get their way.  Here is what happened when a few Democrats voted their conscience and opposed same-sex marriage in 2010:

Garden State Equality fires new broadside at Dems

By Max Pizarro | February 8th, 2010 - 10:41am

Smarting over the state Senate's refusal to pass marriage equality and disillusioned at the moment with the Democratic Party majority, Garden State Equality’s 85-member Board of Directors unanimously decided against giving financial contributions to political parties and their affiliated committees.  

Under the new policy, Garden State Equality will make financial contributions only to individual candidates and to non-party organizations that further equality for the LGBT community, according to a release issued this morning by the organization.

“No political party has a record good enough on LGBT civil rights that it can rightfully claim to be entitled to our money on a party-wide basis,” said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality.  “No longer will we let any political party take our money and volunteers with one hand, and slap us in the face with the other when we seek full equality.

"Our Board of Directors felt so strongly about adopting this new policy," he added, "that it unanimously decided to include it in the organization's bylaws."

Garden State Equality estimates that since 2005 they have given $500,000 to Democratic Party candidates while giving only minimally to Republicans.

"Is this a broadside at the Democratic Party?" asked Goldstein. "Of course, it is."

"With the exception of Speaker (Shelia) Oliver, who has had a long record of being a champion of equality, nobody in the Democratic Party's leadership reached out to us," said Goldstein. "Come on, if you're Steve Sweeney, pick up the phone. If you're John Wisniewski, pick up the phone. We have been the most unstintingly loyal organization to the party. Other than organized labor which is in its own league, no other constituency has been as loyal to the party."

Well it appears that Assemblyman Wisniewski got the message, because he's been subserviently sucking GSE ass ever since.  He sponsored A-4790, the GSE rip-off bill.  Here's what it does:

An Act providing for the issuance of “Equality” license plates and supplementing chapter 3 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.

How's that for making government work for you!

So an organization that is involved in lobbying, political campaigns, and funding the Democrat Party is going to get its own government bank account and source of government funding.  WTF!

Oh it has been proposed.  Former Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, whose husband served three tours overseas in the war against terrorism, proposed it again and again... but the Democrats stopped it every time.

The Democrats remain so focused on the groin, on genitals, on the sexuality of little children -- that they cannot be bothered with honoring the men and women who preserve their institutions, their freedom, their very being.  Screw veterans, say the Democrats... Ass Uber Alles!

Hopefully the Republican generalissimos responsible for defending and capturing legislative seats are paying attention, because if you can't design direct mail, cable, radio, and Internet advertising using this clear contrast -- then something is very wrong.  This is easy, clear-blue-water stuff that will drive up GOP turnout as it shames blue collar Democrats into taking a pass. 

Assemblyman Wisniewski, a normally thoughtful man, is allowing himself to be corrupted.  A-4790 is a very public shakedown by a lobby group/political action organization because it has the power to name and shame.  GSE is corrupt in the way that the mob is corrupt:  Do what we say or we will withhold money or use it against you or try to destroy your reputation. 

Anyone who cares about democracy and honest government will oppose A-4790.