Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

July 31, 2010

How Did We Ever Cross The Street Without Trenton?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:59 am

Since there has been man, there have been streets. I found references to streets in Genesis (10:11, 19:2). Throughout the entire sweep of our shared history, from biblical times, to the Greeks, the Romans, the Medieval period and the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, the Victorian era, and so on down, mankind has crossed the street without being told how to by the New Jersey state legislature. I don’t know how we survived as a species before it’s inception.

The arrogance and vanity of this body has reached dizzying new heights. They have completely tossed out the window any possibility that drivers and pedestrians, rational people, the people actually on the scene, have any judgement at all in determining the best time to get a pedestrian across the street. They have determined that no matter what the situation, driver stop, walker go, period. They also seem to think there are two groups of people out there, the meany drivers, and the shivering, hapless pedestrians, and they want to be seen as totally on the side of the pedestrians. I have news for our esteemed lawgivers. WE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE. Sometimes we drive. Sometimes we walk. But we are one. We can get along just fine without them directing traffic from their offices in Trenton.

When I’m walking down the street I don’t mutter “those drivin’ bastards” every time I see a car. I might have been one of “those bastards” an hour ago. Similarly, when I’m driving down the road and see a pedestrian I don’t think “Ha, poor son of a bitch!”. Why should I? The problem is government loves division. Black vs. white. Rich vs. poor. Women vs. men. Young vs. old. City vs. suburb. The list is endless. Anything that increases their power.  But driver vs. pedestrian? We sympathize with both because we are both. But no matter. Get the government cash registers oiled up. There’s a lot of money to be made! (Not really “made”. In this case, stolen. Only productive activity “makes” money.) Belmar is gearing up to “strictly enforce” ($$$$$)  the new law and the feds are actually providing grants to have undercover cops pretend to be pedestrians and catch those evil non-stopping drivers ($$$$$$$$$$). You would think that drivers were burning crosses on the lawns of pedestrians.

Before the legislature decided we were too stupid to decide for ourselves how to cross the street (it’s funny, they didn’t think we were too stupid to vote for them at election time), if I was driving and saw someone who seemed to want to cross the street I would use my judgement to size up the situation. If I was still pretty far from the street crosser I would hang back and waive him or her across without actually stopping. If I was close enough that I would have to come to a stop to let them pass I would check my mirror. If there were no cars behind me so the walker would have to wait only literally a second or two for me to pass to have a clear road then I would pass, perhaps even speed up a bit to shorten their wait. If there were cars behind me then I would stop and hold up the traffic so they could cross. I used my best judgement. Everything was ok as far as I could tell. If I was walking and wanted to cross the street I would wait for traffic to pass. If there was a lot of traffic I would be more assertive and if necessary hold my hand up to signal I want to cross. I never had a driver blast past me when I has holding up my hand. People are nice. They stop.

Now everyone is on a knife’s edge. Drivers (myself included) slam on the brakes anytime they see a person near the street for fear he or she might be an undercover agent. Often all traffic comes to a halt and it turns out the person was just standing there and didn’t want to cross anyway, or was waiting for his or her companions to join them before crossing. I see pedestrians who would have been perfectly happy to wait a few seconds for traffic to pass now running across the street because they feel bad about making everybody stop for them. When I want to cross the street, and I see a nice gap in traffic, I actually turn away from the street and pretend I don’t actually want to cross so I don’t make people haul 3000 pound vehicles to a stop for me. Then when the traffic passes I do a u-turn and cross the street. Our authorities are driving everybody crazy. They are also creating a hazard for bicyclists with those dumb warning signs in the middle of the street. They are an absolute menace for two wheelers as they don’t allow cars to give bicyclists a wide berth when passing them.

Maybe we should do what Canada does. In Canada, if you want to cross the street you have to hold your arm out to signal drivers you would like for them to stop. If you prefer to wait for traffic to pass, you stand and wait. If you want them to stop you hold your arm out and they stop. Seems pretty logical to me. But since when did logic have anything to do with the New Jersey state legislature?

July 29, 2010

This Week’s Ad

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:31 am

July 26, 2010

Sacrificing The Taxpayers To Save The Honor Of Thieves

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:24 am

According to Sunday’s Asbury Park Press story the New Jersey state pension system faces an unfunded liability of $46 billion to $174 billion depending on who you ask. Even the most optimistic figure would require a return on investment of 8.25%. The actual return over the past ten years has been 2.56%. Then there’s unfunded health care costs of $55 billion. Add to that our $40 billion debt and $10 billion deficit. Is it possible to do a worse job running our state than our legislature has? I think not.

When a person or a business acquires more debt than they can possibly pay off, they go bankrupt. The competing claims on any assets are ironed out in bankruptcy court. In a chapter 11 bankruptcy, new management is installed and a more realistic business plan implemented. This is what New Jersey ought to do.

Why should we hardworking taxpayers be forced to make good on these outrageous obligations our politicians have made us liable for? Do you want  to sacrifice for a decade or more in order to protect the honor of that pack of weasels otherwise known as the New Jersey State Legislature?  Not me. I’d rather disown all their promises to the unions and interest groups and keep the money for my own family.

If I were the judge in such a bankruptcy I would tell all current and retired state workers that they will receive what workers in the private sector receive in pay and benefits for similar work. That alone would probably reduce our obligations by about 50% since they are currently paid so much more than the rest of us. I would then liquidate at least half of all state agencies and commissions, fire their workers, and sell their assets to help pay off debt. I would also rescind all mandates that the state has placed on our cash strapped municipal governments. Lastly I would require that New Jersey have a balanced budget so they can never run up this kind of debt again. To prevent the balanced budget requirement being used as an excuse to raise taxes, I would have a hard cap on tax increases, tied only to inflation and population growth.

I understand these reforms will be hard if not impossible to do with or without bankruptcy. But there is one thing we can do next year to help move things along and that is to fire the entire state legislature so nobody there has an interest in defending policies that have brought New Jersey to it’s knees. I, for one, plan to vote against all incumbents this year and next, including “Republicans” Kean, Rible and Angelini, who have done nothing to help the situation.

July 24, 2010

You’re Not The Only One Reading This

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:15 am

113 hits yesterday. 5500 since this blog’s inception in Dec 2009.

Thanks, everyone.

July 23, 2010

Nightmare on State Street

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:03 am

Since 2000 my pay has increased 20%.

Since 2000 my property tax has increased over 80%.

I thought property taxes were too high in 2000. Now they’re nearly double! How can this be?

I remember 2000. The town was here in 2000.  They picked up the garbage. They plowed the streets. We had police. We had a school. We had every service then that we enjoy now. Why have our property taxes nearly doubled? Answer: State interference in our affairs.

There are things we can do locally to reduce taxes. We can moderate the current administration’s ambitious redevelopment plans. Then we wouldn’t need a Special Improvement District that forces commercial property owners to pay “special” taxes. We can scale back plans to improve the marina. Even with the state “aid” (aren’t we all state taxpayers too?), the marina improvements will cost us money.  We can avoid giveaways like the recent ordinance to waive inspection fees for the installation of solar panels. Incidentally, I noticed that although Democrats Ken Pringle, Claire Deicke, Matt Doherty and Brian Magovern and “Republican” Richard Wright all voted in favor of you and I further subsidizing the solar industry, none of them have announced any plans to install solar panels on their own houses. They don’t even drive fuel efficient cars (like I do).

I’m sure I could find other things we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing, but these are small potatoes compared to the costs the state imposes on us. We should still cut the size of local government, and the things that we should be doing we should try to do at the lowest possible cost, but the fact is that it is the monster in Trenton that is the reason why New Jersey has the highest property taxes in America  (the #2 state, New Hampshire, has no state income or sales tax. Their property taxes basically run the whole state).

The monster in Trenton is no ordinary monster. This is Frankenstein, King Kong, Godzilla, the Blob, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Freddie Krueger all rolled up into one.

Think I exaggerate?

“Conservative” Governor Christie has no plans to eliminate any of this.

Not content to totally hose us at the state level, this greatest of all monsters has decided to run our towns for us as well. They have done everything they can to assist the unions in gaining a complete stranglehold over the local taxpayers. They have burdened the towns with all sorts of expensive mandates. Look at this post from last March:

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 Mandated Into Oblivion

I obtained a copy of a 2008 letter written from the township manager of a North Jersey town to a State Assembly committee chairman and cced to a number of NJ public officials. It has an attachment listing state mandates that this particular town of 6100 is forced to implement. It is pointed out in the letter that this list is by no means exclusive. More detail on any particular mandate is available from me for the asking.

Police Domestic Violence Training – 84 man hours

Police CPR/AED First Responder – 84 man hours

Police Gas Mask Fit Testing – 21 man hours

Police Hazmat/Blood borne Pathogens course – 84 man hours

Police ICS 100, 200, 800 Certification – 378 man hours

Police Counter Terrorism Certification – 378 man hours

Police Annual Firearms Qualification – 252 man hours

Police Automatic Weapons/Carbines Training – 336 man hours

Police Active Shooter Class – 88 man hours

Police Firearms Instructor – 12 man hours

Police Active Shooter Instructors – 48 man hours

Dispatcher CPR/AED Training – 25 man hours

Dispatcher EMD Training – 32 man hours

Dispatcher Hazmat/Blood borne Pathogens Course – 25 man hours

Dispatcher EMD/911 Instructor – 48 man hours

Dispatcher Gas Mask Fit Testing – 5 man hours

Dispatcher ICS 100, 200, 800 Certification – 60 man hours

Alcotest equipment and training

Recording System for interviews and arrests

Mandatory Police Related Equipment

Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mandates

Police Contract Arbitration

Megan’s Law

Playground Safety Enhancements

Automated External Defibrillators & Training

Planning Board Members Training

Zoning Board Members Training

Master Plan and Master Plan Reexamination Reports

Municipal Engineer Requirements

Municipal Land Use Attorney Requirements

Stan Planning Commission – Plan Endorsement

Highlands Council Plan Conformance

COAH

NJDEP Regulations

NJDEP Storm water Management Programs

NJDEP Water/Sewer testing

Wastewater & Water Quality Management Plans

Stormwater Management Plans

Certified Public Works Coordinator

Certified Recycling Coordinator and Program

Truck & Equipment Washing Facilities

Water Operations Course and Certification

Misc Public Works Training Requirements

Deer Carcass Removal from highways

Court Personnel Training

Court Administrator Training

Mandatory use of State Forms and Tickets

Bullet Proof Glass for Court Rooms

Court Security Plan

Public Employee Retirement Systems Appropriations Mandates

Mandatory Heath Care Insurance Contributions

Mandatory Negotiations Regarding Public Union Groups

Open Public Records Act

Elections Training and Machines

Certified Purchasing Agent

Green Products Purchasing Course

Prevailing Wage Laws for all Publicly Funded Projects

Prevailing Wage Laws for Public Utility Construction

Mandatory Property Revaluation

Public Employee Occupational Safety & Health Act

Office of the State Controller Statutory Reporting Requirements

Public Employee Retirement System/Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund Contributions

Full Day Preschool

Full Day Kindergarten

Special Education Requirements

School Psychiatric Evaluations

School Board Election Recall Officials Training

NJDOE Student Testing Requirements

(School) Public Employee Occupational Safety and Health Act (PEOSH) Right to Know

PEOSH Asbestos Inspection

PEOSH Smoke Stack Permits

PEOSH Water Testing

PEOSH Boiler License

PEOSH Florescent Bulb Recycling

PEOSH Long Range Facilities Plan

PEOSH Fire Retardant Protection

.  

I, for one, do not accept our local officials having discretion over only about 25% of our budget. If I am elected I plan to go to Trenton and annoy them until they agree to back off. I know it’s an uphill battle. Personally, I would rather just move to a normal state. Family obligations, however, are keeping me here for the time being. Certainly nothing any politician here is doing makes me want to live here.

The only way we can get back to reasonable property taxes is to get Trenton and their union buddies out of Belmar. We are perfectly capable of running our own affairs. All our efforts should go towards getting Trenton to allow us to. We have no choice. We either fight the Trenton-union monster or we will be consumed by it.

July 21, 2010

Sneak Preview!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:14 pm

This week’s newspaper ad:

July 20, 2010

My First Campaign Ad

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:21 pm

By the way, for those of you who don’t get The Coast Star, here is the ad I ran last week:

I’ve been kind of busy, I’ll be writing soon on some new subjects.

July 10, 2010

C. S. Lewis, 1948

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:14 pm

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good
will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
of their own conscience.”

July 4, 2010

What I Believe

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:47 pm

I believe that our freedom is our most important asset, and is a gift from God. That freedom belongs to us even when it is not respected by the government.

I believe that our individual lives belong to ourselves and ourselves only and are to be used to serve our own purposes and those of God. It is the sole decision of the individual how he or she may best use the life that God has given them.

I believe that the wealth you create is as sacred and worthy of protection as your life itself. When you work to create wealth, you are trading a irreplaceable piece of your life for that wealth. It is a manifestation of your life, a product of your existence. No part of that wealth should be taxed without substantial justification. A “good idea” from some politician is not an adequate reason.  

I believe that persuasion is always superior to coercion.

I believe that government exists to protect our freedom and property from those who would use force or fraud to take it.

I believe that today the greatest threat to our freedom and to our property comes from the very governments that we instituted to protect them.

I believe that a government can not be both charitable and just. To carry out what it thinks is charity, it must commit injustice.

I believe that government charity is not only unjust, it is unnecessary. Americans are the most charitable people on earth. We give twice the percentage of our income to charity as Canadians and ten times as much as the French. If government were not taking half of our incomes we would give much more. Unlike the politicians, I trust my neighbors and my fellow Americans not to allow human suffering in our midst, and to decide which causes are most worthy of our generosity.

I believe that personal health and lifestyle choices are not the government’s business. It is not the job of government to interfere with or even attempt to influence our decisions with regard to how we live our lives. We own our lives and what we do with them is up to us and our families.

I believe that if government respected it’s proper limits, as those whose actions two hundred and thirty four years ago we today celebrate would have wanted it, it wouldn’t matter that much who won elections because they wouldn’t have the power to harm us anyway. Unfortunately we have allowed government to assume powers far beyond the intent of our founders. Now that any politician’s dopey idea is considered justification for seizing some of our wealth, or some of our freedom, it matters who wins elections. It matters a lot. It is for this reason I am running for Belmar city council. I promise not to inflict any ideas on anyone and I promise to try to protect your freedom and your wealth from the “good ideas” of others.

I believe that your life, all of it, belongs to you.

July 2, 2010

Enabling Sexual Predators

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:12 pm

From today’s Asbury Park Press:

 Without training and teaching certification, his client (former St. Rose baseball coach Bartholomew McInerney) made misguided attempts to talk to the players and advise them that masturbation could be an alternative to other sexual activity, West Long Branch-based attorney Charles Uliano said.

The reason why young students are so susceptible to the sexual advances of teachers and other adult mentors is that teachers do talk to students about sex as part of the curriculum. This is a big mistake and should be stopped. The sex lives of our children should not be the business of anyone but we their parents. Children would then know that any adult outside the family that talks to them about sex is a danger and should be reported on. Teachers should stick to teaching academics and baseball coaches should stick to teaching baseball. Stay out of our children’s sex lives and our children will be much safer.

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