Shakespeare in the Park and the “Eye That Sees Not Itself”

“Alas, thou hast misconstrued everything!”

 

Those are the words of the servant Titinius after finding his master, Cassius, one of the conspirators in the assassination of Julius Caesar, dead in Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar.”

 

Ever the dadist modernists, Manhattanites flocked tpo The Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park 2017 production of Julius Caesar, which places the ambitious, would-be dictator in the middle of New York City’s Central Park, casting an actor who resembles President Donald Trump in the eponymous role.

 

The audiences have cheered and laughed at the assassination scene. Indeed, the Trumpized Roman emperor did not go gently into that good night in this production, which is said to have closed since advertisers pulled their support from the controversial play.  He body slams one assailant and manhandles others before he’s murdered in a gory re-enactment of Caesar’s murder.

 

The play ends with the new emperor, Octavianus and Marc Antony doing honor to the ringleader of the conspirators, Brutus.

 

Upon finding him dead, Antony says, “This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators save only he did that they did in envy of great Caesar; He, only in a general honest thought and common good to all, made one of them.”

 

Octavius: According to his virtue let us use him, with all respect and rite of burial.  Within my tent his bones tonight shall lie, most like a soldier, ordered honorably.  Call the field [the army] to rest:  and let’s away, to part the glories of this happy day.

 

Brutus meant well, did he? No ancient Roman ever gloried more in the bloody, savage entertainment of the Roman Colosseum than did the noble residents of Manhattan witnessing this modernized, blood-soaked rendition of “Julius Caesar.”

 

Nor do they hold the common man in any more high esteem than did the Establishment of Rome. A seat in the Roman Senate was a highly sought position, bought with money and fraught with power.  The Roman Assembly was no match for it.

 

The first thing to understand about any Shakespeare drama is the first line: it sets the tone for the entire play.

 

Flavius [opening line]: Hence! Home, you idle creatures, get you home!  [An officer in Senator Brutus’ army, he later goes on to warn them that it’s not a holiday and that it’s illegal for them to walk in public without wearing a sign of their trade]

 

The senators and assemblyman are supposed to represent the citizens of Rome. However, the Roman Senate had become so corrupt that they believed themselves to be above the citizens whom they represented. Caesar was ambitious, indeed, but he also knew that that body was blocking legislation meant for the benefit of the citizens.

 

Flavius asks the man what trade he is. The man answers that he is a “cobbler.”  In true Shakespearean fashion, this is a play on words, for in English of the times, “cobbler” meant “a mender of shoes” but also “a bungler.”

 

Marullus: But what trade art thou, sir.  Answer me directly.

 

Cobbler: A trade sir, that I hope I may use with a safe conscience, which is indeed sir, a mender of bad soles [with a pun on the word “souls”]

 

Flavius and Marsullus, Brutus’ officers are ordered to take down the decorations from Caesar’s statues and to “drive away the vulgar from the streets.” Supporters of the now-dead Pompey, for whose death they blame Caesar, although he was actually murdered by the Egyptians, they scorn the vacillating citizens who once cried for Pompey and now cheer for the conqueror they believed murdered him.

 

History (according to Wikipedia, at least) tells us that Caesar was, indeed, an ambitious if frustrated ruler. As a military tactician, he was brilliant, conquering half the known world in the name of Rome.  As a member of the First Triumvirate (60 B.C.), Caesar proposed a law for redistributing public lands to the poor—by force of arms, if need be—a proposal supported by Pompey and by Crassus, making the triumvirate public. Pompey filled the city with soldiers, a move which intimidated the triumvirate’s opponents.  Bibulus attempted to declare the omens unfavourable and thus void the new law, but he was driven from the forum by Caesar’s armed supporters.

 

Bibulus’ (a consul and opponent of Caesar’s) bodyguards had their ceremonial axes (fasces) broken, two high magistrates accompanying him were wounded, and he had a bucket of excrement thrown over him. In fear of his life, he retired to his house for the rest of the year, issuing occasional proclamations of bad omens. These attempts proved ineffective in obstructing Caesar’s legislation. Roman satirists ever after referred to the year as “the consulship of Julius and Caesar.”

 

When Caesar was first elected, the aristocracy tried to limit his future power by allotting to him the woods and pastures of Italy, rather than the governorship of a province, as his military command duty after his year in office was over. With the help of political allies, Caesar later overturned this, and was instead appointed to govern Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) and Illyricum (southeastern Europe), with Transalpine Gault (southern France) later added, giving him command of four legions. The term of his governorship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the usual one. When his consulship ended, Caesar narrowly avoided prosecution for the irregularities of his year in office, and quickly left for his province.

 

While Caesar was in Britain his daughter Julia, Pompey’s wife, had died in childbirth. Caesar tried to re-secure Pompey’s support by offering him his great-niece in marriage, but Pompey declined. In 53 B.C. Crassus was killed leading a failed invasion of the east. Rome was on the brink of civil war.  Pompey was appointed sole consul as an emergency measure, and married the daughter of a political opponent of Caesar. The Triumvirate was dead.

 

In 50 B.C., the Senate, led by Pompey, ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome because his term as governor had finished. Pompey accused Caesar of insubordination and treason, Caesar feared he would be prosecuted if he entered Rome without the immunity enjoyed by a magistrate.  On Jan. 10, 49 B.C., Caesar crossed the Rubicon River (the frontier boundary of Italy) with only a single legion, the Legio XIII Gemina, and ignited civil war. Upon crossing the Rubicon, Caesar, according to Plutarch and Suetonius, is supposed to have quoted the Athenian playwright, Menander, in Greek, “the die is cast” or “let the die be cast.”

 

Pompey and many of the Senate fled to the south, having little confidence in Pompey’s newly-raised troops. Pompey, despite greatly outnumbering Caesar, who only had his Thirteenth Legion with him, did not intend to fight.  Caesar pursued Pompey, hoping to capture [not kill] Pompey before his legions could escape.

 

Pompey managed to escape before Caesar could capture him. Heading for Spain, Caesar left Italy under the control of Mark Antony. After an astonishing 27-day route-march, Caesar defeated Pompey’s lieutenants, then returned east, to challenge Pompey in Illyria, where, in July 48 B.C. in the Battle of Dyrrhacium, Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat. In an exceedingly short engagement later that year, he decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus, in Greece.

 

In Rome, Caesar was appointed dictator with Mark Antony as his Master of the Horse (second in command). Caesar presided over his own election to a second consulship and then, after 11 days, resigned this dictatorship.  Caesar then pursued Pompey to Egypt, arriving soon after the murder of the general. There, Caesar was presented with Pompey’s severed head and seal-ring, receiving these with tears.  He then had Pompey’s assassins put to death.

 

Caesar then became involved with an Egyptian civil war between the child pharaoh and his sister, wife, and co-regent queen, Cleopatra. Perhaps as a result of the pharaoh’s role in Pompey’s murder, Caesar sided with Cleopatra. He withstood the Siege of Alexandria and later he defeated the pharaoh’s forces at the Battle of the Nile in 47 B.C. and installed Cleopatra as ruler. Caesar and Cleopatra celebrated their victory with a triumphal procession on the Nile in the spring of 47 B.C. The royal barge was accompanied by 400 additional ships, and Caesar was introduced to the luxurious lifestyle of the Egyptian pharaohs.

 

Caesar and Cleopatra were not married. Caesar continued his relationship with Cleopatra throughout his last marriage—in the eyes of pagan Roman, this did not constitute adultery—and probably fathered a son called Caesarion. Cleopatra visited Rome on more than one occasion, residing in Caesar’s villa just outside Rome across the Tiber.

 

Late in 48 B.C., Caesar was again appointed dictator, with a term of one year. After spending the first months of 47 B.C. in Egypt, Caesar went to the Middle East, where he annihilated the king of Pontus [the Black Sea region of Turkey]; his victory was so swift and complete that he mocked Pompey’s previous victories over such poor enemies. On his way to Pontus, Caesar visited Tarsus from 27 to 29 May 47 B.C. (where he met enthusiastic support, but where, according to Cicero, Cassius was planning to kill him at this point.)  He then proceeded to Africa to deal with the remnants of Pompey’s senatorial supporters. He quickly gained a significant victory in 46 B.C. over Cato, who then committed suicide.

 

After this victory, he was appointed dictator for 10 years. Pompey’s sons escaped to Spain; Caesar gave chase and defeated the last remnants of opposition in the Battle of Munda in March 45 B.C. During this time, Caesar was elected to his third and fourth terms as consul in 46 B.C. and 45 B.C. (this last time without a colleague).

 

While he was still campaigning in Spain, the Senate began bestowing honors on Caesar. Caesar had not proscribed his enemies, instead pardoning almost all, and there was no serious public opposition to him. Great games and celebrations were held in April to honor Caesar’s victory at Munda. Plutarch writes that many Romans found the triumph held following Caesar’s victory to be in poor taste, as those defeated in the civil war had not been foreigners, but instead fellow Romans.

 

On Caesar’s return to Italy in September 45 B.C., he filed his will, naming his grandnephew Gaius Octavius (Octavian, later known as Augustus Caesar) as his principal heir, leaving Octavian his vast estate and property including his name. Caesar also wrote that if Octavian died before Caesar did, Decimus Junius Brutus would be the next heir in succession. In his will, he also left a substantial gift to the citizens of Rome.

 

During his early career, Caesar had seen how chaotic and dysfunctional the Roman Republic had become. The republican machinery had broken down under the weight of imperialism, such a vast amount of territory being virtually ungovernable from Rome, the central government had become powerless, the provinces had been transformed into independent principalities under the absolute control of their governors, and the army had replaced the constitution as the means of accomplishing political goals. With a weak central government, political corruption had spiraled out of control, and the status quo had been maintained by a corrupt aristocracy, which saw no need to change a system that had made its members rich.

 

Does that sound familiar to modern-day readers?

 

Between his crossing of the Rubicon in 49 B.C., and his assassination in 44 B.C., Caesar established a new constitution, which was intended to accomplish three separate goals. First, he wanted to suppress all armed resistance out in the provinces, and thus bring order back to the Republic. Second, he wanted to create a stronger central government in Rome.  Finally, he wanted to knit together all of the provinces into a single, cohesive unit.

 

The first goal was accomplished when Caesar defeated Pompey and his supporters. To accomplish the other two goals, he needed to ensure that his control over the government was undisputed, so he assumed these powers by increasing his own authority, and by decreasing the authority of Rome’s other political institutions. Finally, he enacted a series of reforms that were meant to address several long-neglected issues, the most important of which was his reform of the calendar.

 

When Caesar returned to Rome, the Senate granted him triumphs for his victories, ostensibly those over Gaul, Egypt, Pontus, and Juba (the Sudan), rather than over his Roman opponents. Not everything went Caesar’s way. When Arsinoe IV, Egypt’s former queen, was paraded in chains, the spectators admired her dignified bearing and were moved to pity. Triumphal games were held, with beast-hunts involving 400 lions, and gladiator contests. A naval battle was held on a flooded basin at the Field of Mars. At the Circus Maximus, two armies of war captives, each of 2,000 people, 200 horses, and 20 elephants, fought to the death. Again, some bystanders complained, this time at Caesar’s wasteful extravagance. A riot broke out, and only stopped when Caesar had two rioters sacrificed by the priests on the Field of Mars.

 

After the triumph, Caesar set out to pass an ambitious legislative agenda. He ordered a census be taken, which forced a reduction in the grain dole, and decreed that jurors could only come from the Senate or the Equestrian (military) ranks.

 

This probably palliated the elites, whom he needed to court in order to pass his policies. The decree did little to bring justice and equality to the common man, however, leaving them out of the important business of governing their lives.  Yet the common man was probably as unconcerned then as he is today, content to leave government to representatives and relieving them of the time-consuming burden.  If politics and corruption did not enter into governing, this would be the right and proper way to rule.  Left unchecked by the common people, profligacy will prevail.

 

That’s why it’s important to study Shakespeare and all those other hi-falutin’ Greeks – and do your research and vote in the primaries.

 

Caesar passed a sumptuary law that restricted the purchase of certain luxuries. After this, he passed a law that rewarded families for having many children, to speed up the repopulation of Italy. Then, he outlawed professional guilds, except those of ancient foundation, since many of these were subversive political clubs. He then passed a term-limit law applicable to governors. He passed a debt-restructuring law, which ultimately eliminated about a fourth of all debts owed.

 

The Forum of Caesar, with its Temple of Venus Genetrix, was then built, among many other public works. Caesar also tightly regulated the purchase of state-subsidized grain and reduced the number of recipients to a fixed number, all of whom were entered into a special register. From 47 to 44 B.C., he made plans for the distribution of land to about 15,000 of his veterans.

 

The most important change, however, was his reform of the calendar. The calendar was then regulated by the movement of the moon, and this had left it in a mess. Caesar replaced this calendar with the Egyptian calendar, which was regulated by the sun. He set the length of the year to 365.25 days by adding an intercalary/leap day at the end of February every fourth year.

 

To bring the calendar into alignment with the seasons, he decreed that three extra months be inserted into 46 B.C. (the ordinary intercalary month at the end of February, and two extra months after November). Thus, the Julian calendar opened on 1 January 45 B.C. This calendar is almost identical to the current Western Calendar.

 

Shortly before his assassination, he passed a few more reforms. He established a police force, appointed officials to carry out his land reforms, and ordered the rebuilding of Carthage and Corinth. He also extended Latin rights throughout the Roman world, and then abolished the tax system and reverted to the earlier version that allowed cities to collect tribute however they wanted, rather than needing Roman intermediaries. His assassination prevented further and larger schemes, which included the construction of an unprecedented temple to Mars, a huge theater, and a library on the scale of the Library of Alexandria.

 

He also wanted to convert Ostia to a major port, and cut a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. Militarily, he wanted to conquer the Dacians and Parthians, and avenge the loss at Carrhae. Thus, he instituted a massive mobilization. Shortly before his assassination, the Senate named him censor for life and Father of the Fatherland, and the month of Quintilis was renamed July in his honor.

 

He was granted further honors, which were later used to justify his assassination as a would-be divine monarch: coins were issued bearing his image and his statue was placed next to those of the kings. He was granted a golden chair in the Senate, was allowed to wear triumphal dress whenever he chose, and was offered a form of semi-official or popular cult, with Mark Antony as his high priest.  Not content with being dictator-for-life, Caesar also wanted to be a deity.  Throughout the play “Julius Caesar,” Shakespeare points out the dictators many human foibles which made him unsuitable to be a god.

 

The history of Caesar’s political appointments is complex and uncertain. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the proconsulship. His powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies. He was first appointed dictator in 49 B.C., possibly to preside over elections, but resigned his dictatorship within 11 days.  In 48 B.C., he was reappointed dictator, only this time for an indefinite period, and in 46 B.C., he was appointed dictator for 10 years.

 

In 48 B.C., Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers which made his person sacrosanct and allowed him to veto the Senate, although on at least one occasion, tribunes did attempt to obstruct him. The offending tribunes in this case were brought before the Senate and divested of their office. This was not the first time Caesar had violated a tribune’s sacrosanctity.

 

Caesar had crossed yet another “rubicon,” helping to seal his fate.

 

After he had first marched on Rome in 49 BC, he forcibly opened the treasury, although a tribune had the seal placed on it. After the impeachment of the two obstructive tribunes, Caesar, perhaps unsurprisingly, faced no further opposition from other members of the Tribunician College.

 

When Caesar returned to Rome in 47 B.C., the ranks of the Senate had been severely depleted, so he used his censorial powers to appoint many new senators, which eventually raised the Senate’s membership to 900. All the appointments were of his own partisans, which robbed the senatorial aristocracy of its prestige, and made the Senate increasingly subservient to him.  To minimize the risk that another general might attempt to challenge him, Caesar passed a law that subjected governors to term limits.

 

Barack Obama and the Democrats, not the Conservatives and Donald Trump, packed both Congress and the Judicial branch with partisans both on the Democrat and the Republican side. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is good friends with Open Society founder George Soros, as was his opponent in the 2008 election, Barack Obama.

 

In 46 B.C., Caesar gave himself the title of “Prefect of the Morals,” which was an office that was new only in name, as its powers were identical to those of the censors. Thus, he could hold censorial powers, while technically not subjecting himself to the same checks to which the ordinary censors were subject, and he used these powers to fill the Senate with his own partisans. He also set the precedent, which his imperial successors followed, of requiring the Senate to bestow various titles and honors upon him. He was, for example, given the title of “Father of the Fatherland” and “imperator.”

 

Coins bore his likeness, and he was given the right to speak first during Senate meetings. Caesar then increased the number of magistrates who were elected each year, which created a large pool of experienced magistrates, and allowed Caesar to reward his supporters.

 

This is what the Liberals fear; that Donald Trump will upset the “balance” of the court, by nominating Conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Their charge is hypocritical since the court has swung to the Left for at least a decade, allowing illegal immigrants to swarm our borders, unconstitutionally mandating Obamacare, and eventually, legalizing marijuana.

 

Caesar even took steps to transform Italy into a province, and to link more tightly the other provinces of the empire into a single cohesive unit. This addressed the underlying problem that had caused the Social War decades earlier, where individuals outside Rome and Italy were not considered “Roman,” and thus were not given full citizenship rights. This process, of fusing the entire Roman Empire into a single unit, rather than maintaining it as a network of unequal principalities, would ultimately be completed by Caesar’s successor, the emperor Augustus.

 

In February 44 B.C., one month before his assassination, he was appointed Dictator for Life. Under Caesar, a significant amount of authority was vested in his lieutenants, mostly because Caesar was frequently out of Italy. In October 45 B.C., Caesar resigned his position as sole consul, and facilitated the election of two successors for the remainder of the year, which theoretically restored the ordinary consulship, since the constitution did not recognize a single consul without a colleague.

 

Near the end of his life, Caesar began to prepare for a war against the Parthian Empire (Iran and Iraq). Since his absence from Rome might limit his ability to install his own consuls, he passed a law which allowed him to appoint all magistrates in 43 B.C., and all consuls and tribunes in 42 B.C. This, in effect, transformed the magistrates from being representatives of the people to being representatives of the dictator.

 

Uh-oh.

 

On the Ides of March (March 15) of 44 B.C., Caesar was due to appear at a session of the Senate. Several Senators had conspired to assassinate Caesar. Mark Antony, having vaguely learned of the plot the night before from a terrified liberator named Servilius Casca, and fearing the worst, went to head Caesar off. The plotters, however, had anticipated this and, fearing that Antony would come to Caesar’s aid, had arranged for Trebonius to intercept him just as he approached the portico of the Theatre of Pompey, where the session was to be held, and detain him outside. (Plutarch, however, assigns this action to delay Antony to Brutus Albinus.) When he heard the commotion from the Senate chamber, Antony fled.

 

The Theatre of Pompey was a structure in Ancient Rome built during the later part of the Roman Republican era. It was completed in 55 BC.  Enclosed by large columned porticos was an expansive garden complex of fountains and statues. Along the stretch of covered arcade were rooms dedicated to the exposition of art and other works collected by Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (English: “Pompey the Great”) during his campaigns.

 

On the opposite end of the garden complex was a curia (an assembly room) for political meetings. The senate would often use this building along with a number of temples and halls that satisfied the requirements for their formal meetings. The curia in the theatre is infamous as the place where Juliua Caesar murdered by the Liberatores of the Roman Senate and elite.

 

According to Plutarch, as Caesar arrived at the Senate, Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother. The other conspirators crowded round to offer support. Both Plutarch and Suetonius say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber grabbed his shoulders and pulled down Caesar’s tunic. Caesar then cried to Cimber, “Why, this is violence!” (“Ista quidem vis est!”), which was against the rules of the Roman Senate.

 

At the same time, Casca produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator’s neck. Caesar turned around quickly and caught Casca by the arm. According to Plutarch, he said in Latin, “Casca, you villain, what are you doing?” Casca, frightened, shouted, “Help, brother!” in Greek (“ἀδελφέ, βοήθει”, “Adelphe, boethei“). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was striking out at the dictator.  Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenseless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, around 60 men participated in the assassination. He was stabbed 23 times.

 

According to Suetonius, a physician later established that only one wound, the second one to his chest, had been lethal. The dictator’s last words are not known with certainty, and are a contested subject among scholars and historians alike. Suetonius reports that others have said Caesar’s last words were the Greek phrase “καὶ σύ, τέκνον;”\ (transliterated as “Kai su, teknon?”: “You too, child?” in English). However, for himself, Suetonius says Caesar said nothing.

 

Plutarch also reports that Caesar said nothing, pulling his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators. The version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase “Et tu, Brute?” (“And you, Brutus?” This derives from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic (composed of or characterized by Latin words mixed with vernacular words or non-Latin words given Latin endings)  line: “Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar.”

 

According to Plutarch, after the assassination, Brutus stepped forward as if to say something to his fellow senators; they, however, fled the building. Brutus and his companions then marched to the Capitol while crying out to their beloved city: “People of Rome, we are once again free!” They were met with silence, as the citizens of Rome had locked themselves inside their houses as soon as the rumor of what had taken place had begun to spread. Caesar’s dead body lay where it fell on the Senate floor for nearly three hours before other officials arrived to remove it.

 

Caesar’s body was cremated, and on the site of his cremation, the Temple of Caesar was erected a few years later (at the east side of the main square of the Roman Forum). Only its altar now remains. A life-size wax statue of Caesar was later erected in the forum displaying the 23 stab wounds. A crowd who had gathered there started a fire, which badly damaged the forum and neighboring buildings. In the ensuing chaos, Mark Antony, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar), and others fought a series of five civil wars, which would end in the formation of the Roman Empire.

 

To return to the play, the soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the idea of March.” But Caesar dismisses him as “a dreamer” and he and his party, except Brutus and Cassius, continue on to watch the race of the Festival of Lupercal, originally set in February, honoring the birth of Romulus and Remus to a female wolf who supposedly nursed them. Februa was the actual ritual of purification.

 

After the sacrificial feast, the Luperci (“the brothers of the wolf”) cut and wore thongs of newly-flayed goatskin, in imitation of Lupercus, and ran near-naked along the old Palatine boundary, which was marked out by stones. In Plutarch‘s description of the Lupercalia, written during the early Empire:

 

many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school, present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery and the barren to pregnancy.

 

How Shakespeare came to include a pagan rite of February (meaning “spring cleaning” or “spring purge”) in the month of March is uncertain. How the company that produces Central Park’s Shakespeare in the Park came to confuse Trump with Caesar is equally uncertain.  To note, Barack Obama behaved more like Caesar – “he doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus” – in his case, using the judiciary to bypass the legislature to enact his will.

 

To be sure, our modern Congress is decidedly corrupt, as corrupt as ever the Rome Senate was. The Roman Assembly had long since been stripped of its power.  Caesar was not actually the first emperor of Rome – perhaps he wanted to be an emperor, but he never lived to have the title.

 

To accuse Trump of obstructing or going around the courts as Caesar did is ludicrous, as the courts were previously filled by a much more ambitious, tyrannical president claiming to be a man of the people while casting scorn upon them, especially middle class workers and homeowners. Obama has not left his own estates to the poor; he’s left our modest homes and properties to the vulgar herd.

 

In the wake of the civil war following Caesar’s assassination, his great nephew and adopted heir, Octavian, became the first de facto emperor as a result of the ‘first settlement’ between himself and the Roman Senate.

 

He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. All the principle conspirators committed suicide.  Does Shakespeare in the Park show that part of the play?

 

Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC.

 

After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor.

 

It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis (“First Citizen of the State”). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire.

 

The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana (The Roman Peace). The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire’s frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the “Year of the Four Emperors” over the imperial succession. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia; expanding possessions in Africa; expanding into Germania; and completing the conquest of Hispania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client state and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy.

 

He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard (a sort of Secret Service for the Emperor and some high officials), created official police and fire-fighting services and for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign.

 

But to return to the play, for that is the thing, Cassius, whom our Shakespearean Caesar regards cautiously as a man having “a lean and hungry look” knows that Brutus opposes Caesar’s ambitions but does not want to act against the man or his conscience.

 

Cassius has no problem where conscience is concerned. Privately, to Brutus, he berates Caesar as a flawed poser, much as Establishment Republicans derided Trump.  After challenging the aging Caesar to swim the Tiber, Cassius rescued the would-be god from drowning.

 

“Ay, as Aeneas, our great ancestor, did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder the old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber did I the tired Caesar. And this man is now become a god, and Cassius is a wretched creature and must bend his body if Caesar carelessly but on him.  He had a fever when he was in Spain, and when the fit was on him, I did mark how he did shake.  ‘Tis true, this god did shake.  His coward lips did from their color fly, and that same eye whose bend doth awe the world did lose his luster.  I did hear him groan.  Ay, and that tongue of his that bad the Romans mark him and write his speeches in their books, “Alas!” it cried, “Give me some drink, Titinius.”  As a sick girl.  Ye gods, it doth amaze me a man of such a feeble temper should so get the start of the majestic world and bear the palm [of victory] alone [as opposed to sharing it with a co-ruler].”

 

Cassius isn’t through berating Caesar though.

 

“Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves. Men at some time are masters of their fates.  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.  Brutus and Caesar.  What should be in that ‘Caesar’?  Why should that name be sounded more than yours?  Write them together, yours is as fair a name; sound them, it doth become the mouth as well…When went there by an age, since the Great Flood, but it was fam’d with more than with one man?  [Cassius speaks of Deucalion, the son of Prometheus, and Deucalion’s wife, Pyrrha, who, in Greek mythology, built the first cities – in Biblical terms, the couple was Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis].”

 

After this conversation, the pair learn from Casca that the shouts they heard were the people of Rome three times offering Caesar a crown, as king, which he refused each time. But then Caesar fell down in a fit of epilepsy, during which the adoring crowds mocked him.  Still, they learn that the Roman Senate means to establish Caesar as their king.  The conspirators meet to plan the assassination, in the Theater of Pompey, not in the actual Senate itself, as some have believed.

 

Brutus is uneasy about this action.

 

Brutus [in soliloquy]: Since Cassius did first whet me against Caesar, I have not slept.  Between the acting of a dreadful thing and the first motion, all the interim is like a phantasma, or a hideous dream.  Genius and the mortal instruments are then in council; and the state of man, like to a little kingdom, suffers then the nature of an insurrection.”

 

Defendants of the Shakespeare-in-the-Park production protest that it’s merely a play – which is based on an historical event. We poor mortals who can scarcely afford to cross into Manhattan, much less attend a play in Central Park, where we would have to park our cars in an expensive garage, saw no more of the play than the assassination scene.  “Hideous?”  Yes.  “A dream?”  Maybe.  But whose dream?  Who dreams of such monstrous violence?

 

The conspirators agree to the plan, but Brutus refuses to swear an oath to carry it out.

 

Brutus: No, not an oath.  If not the fame of men, the sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse- [they’re wasting their time].  If these be motives weak, break off betimes, and every man hence to his idle bed; so let high-sighted tyranny range on, till each man drop off by lottery.  But if these, as I am sure they do, bear fire enough to kindle cowards and to steel with valor the melting spirits of women, then, countrymen, what need we any spur but our own cause to prick us to redress?  What other bond than secret Romans, that have spoke the word and will not palter?

 

The conspirators take the law into their own hands, as they believe their cause is just enough to commit murder, the taking of a life. Cassius suggests also severing Caesar’s right hand – Mark Antony.

 

Brutus: Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius, the head cut off and then hack the limbs, like wrath in death and envy afterwards;  for Antony is but a limb of Caesar [in pagan rituals, the “limb” – a tree branch – represented the priest or priestess carrying out the will of the gods].  Let’s be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.  We stand up against the spirit of Caesar and in the spirit of men there is no blood.  O, that we then could come by Caesar’s spirit, and not dismember Caesar!  But, alas, Caesar must blood for it.  And, gentle friends, let’s kill him boldly but not wrathfully; Let’s carve him as a dish fort for the gods, not hew him as a carcass for hounds.  And let our hearts, as subtle masters do, stir up their servants to an act of rage and after seem to chide ‘em.  This shall make our purpose necessary, and not envious; which so appearing to the common eyes, we shall be call’d purgers, not murderers.”

 

How often have Liberal agitators done this very thing, working their followers up into a rage with violent rhetoric and then unleashing them onto the streets to do their dirty work? When did you last hear of Conservatives resorting to such tactics?  When did Donald Trump ever sanction such tactics?  He may have sounded tough during the campaign, but generally he’s a fellow hail and well met.  Maybe too hail.  He is a businessman after all.  What did the character in the movie Die Hard say, “You negotiate with a gun, I negotiate with a fountain pen.  What’s the difference?”

 

Although the night is filled with strange and evil portents, Caesar determines to go to the Senate hearing where Decius assures him he will receive the title he craves.

 

Caesar [to the soothsayer]: The ides of March are come.

 

Soothsayer: Ay, Caesar, but not gone.

 

It is Casca who declares the fatal words:  “Speak, hands, for me!”  Violent action over civil discourse.

 

The conspirators deliver 23 wounds to Caesar (Shakespeare declares the number is 33). As we read in the history, some sixty Roman senators were thought to have participated in the assassination.

 

After the deed is done, the murderers crow like cocks:

 

Cinna: Liberty! Freedom!  Tyranny is dead!  Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets!

 

Cassius: Some to the common pulpits, and cry out:  “Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!”

 

Brutus: People and senators, be not affrighted.  Fly not; stand still.  Ambition’s debt is paid.

 

Casca: Go to the pulpit, Brutus.

 

Decius: And Casca, too.

 

Brutus: Where’s Publius?

 

Cinna: Here, quite confounded with this mutiny [Publius was an elderly senator].

 

Metellus: Stand fast together, lest some friend of Caesar’s should chance-

 

Brutus: Talk not of standing.  Publius, good cheer.  There is no harm intended to your person, nor to no Roman else.  So tell them, Publius.

 

Cassius: And leave us, Publius, lest that the people, rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.

 

Brutus: Do so, and let no man abide this deed but we the doers.  [Exeunt all but the Conpirators]

 

Enter Trebonius.

 

Cassius: Where is Antony?

 

Trebonius: Fled to his house, amaz’d.  Men, wives, and children stare, cry out, and run as it were Doomsday.

 

Brutus: Fates, we will know your pleasures.  That we shall die, we know; ‘tis but the time, and drawings days out, that men stand upon.

 

Casca: Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life cuts off so many years of fearing death.

 

Brutus: Grant that, and then is death a benefit.  So are we Caesar’s friends, that have abridg’d his time of fearing death.  Stoop, Romans, stoop, and let us bathe our hands in Caesar’s blood up to the elbows, and besmear our swords then walk we forth, even to the market-place, and, waving our red weapons o’er our heads, let’s all cry, “Peace, freedom, and liberty!

 

Cassius: Stoop then and wash.  [They bathe their hands and weapons.]  How many ages hence shall this our lofty scene be acted over in states unborn and accents yet unknown?

 

How many generations in the future will reenact the “Lefty” scene in Central Park in states ceded and accents melded?

 

Brutus: How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport, that now on Pompey’s base lies along no worthier than the dust?

 

Cassius: So oft as that shall be, so often shall the knot of us be call’d the men that gave their country liberty.

 

So often shall the knot of Manhattanite Liberals be called the men and women that robbed their country of their liberty?

 

The mutineers go off into the center of Rome to explain their actions to a wary public.

 

“Not that I lov’d Caesar less,” Brutus says, “but that I lov’d Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caser were dead, to live all free men.  As Caesar lov’d me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it, as he was valiant, I honor him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him.  There are tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honor for his valor; and death for his ambition.”

 

But then Marc Antony, given permission by Brutus and the other senators to eulogize Caesar, reads his will, which left some considerable money to every Roman citizen and all his estates to their public trust. Antony then shows those closest the torn and bloodied mantle, and then the body itself.

 

With the public opinion turned against the conspirators, Antony and Octavius, the new emperor, execute some seventy senators, then take their armies to hunt down the conspirators.

 

At Philippi, they meet in battle. But the conspirators’ armies soon desert them.

 

Cassius: O, look, Titinius, the villains fly!  Myself have to mine own turn’d enemy.  This ensign here of mine was turning back; I slew the coward and did take it from him.

 

Titinius flies off into battle. Pindarus, Cassisus’ slave, incorrectly reports that Titinius is captured and Cassius has him run him through, promising that with the deed, he will be freed from slavery.  Finding Cassius dead, Tintinius stabs himself with Cassius’ sword, the same sword that killed Caesar.

 

Cornered, Brutus asks the remainder of the band to lend him one of their swords so that he might die an honorable death. Finally, one of his slaves, Strato, agrees.  At Brutus’ bidding he turns his head away as Brutus runs himself on the sword and dies.

 

Brutus: Caesar, now be still.  I kill’d thee not with half so good a will.

 

Upon finding him dead, Antony says, “This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the conspirators save only he did that they did in envy of great Caesar; He, only in a general honest thought and common good to all, made one of them.”

 

The play ends with the new emperor, Octavian, honoring Brutus:

“According to his virtue, let us use him,

With all respect and rites of burial

Within my tent his bones tonight shall lie,

Most like a soldier, ordered honorably.

So call the field [the army] to rest; and let’s away,

To part [share] the glories of this happy day.”

 

We are not far from the bloodthirsty citizens of Rome if we revisit Shakespeare’s play in this sort of spirit, cheering for the assassins and calling for the blood of an elected leader.

 

Brutus: Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;

Let not our looks put on our purposes,

But bear it as our Roman actors do,

With untir’d spits and formal constancy.

 

When Antony returns to the scene of the crime, he asks the conspirators:

“I know not, gentleman, what you intend,

Who else must let blood, who else is rank?”

 

What sort of world, what sort of society have we become that we not only welcome such spectacles as entertainment, but place ourselves, and more particularly, our political adversaries in their roles, and transfer their violence to our modern times?

 

Conservatives do not and never have advocated violence. We wish for a peaceful society.  Liberals, on the other hand, crave centralized government, an uncontrollable bureaucracy to stamp upon the people, and a corrupt judiciary to do its will while the Legislature lies glutted at its banquet of corruption.  They encourage every form of licentiousness, rage, and criminality and call it “resistance.”  It is the resistance of Nimrod.

 

Heed well the words of your hero (did you know that the word “hero” was originally ascribed to Nimrod?), “the lean and hungry” Cassius, you Liberals:

 

“Show yourselves [to be] true Romans.”

 

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Published in: on June 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sustainable Democrat Districts

Mayors and public officials from around Northern New Jersey attended a public hearing on court-mandated affordable housing obligations in Paramus on Thursday evening. They had gathered to register their complaints about the burdensome regulations that could lead to the destruction of their suburban communities.

 

Republican N.J. Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, of River Vale in Bergen County, led the meeting along with other state officials. Representatives of the Cherry Hill-based Fair Share Housing Center, the group that created the obligations and led in the original Mount Laurel housing lawsuit, were not present at the meeting.

 

According to the Bergen Record, Upper Saddle River Mayor Joanne Minichetti stated that the analysis (by Fair Share Housing) leading to the obligations were “stupid” and “ridiculous.”

 

“It is long past time for the Legislature to act, and block, Fair Share Housing from their objective of destroying our suburban communities,” Minichetti said. Upper Saddle River has an 827-unit obligation.  The obligations are structured so that the emphasis is on market-rate units with a minimum of Affordable Housing units.  With each development, a community’s general population increases and with it the exponential obligation for even more affordable housing.

 

“We really need action. Nobody has done what they need to,” she added.

 

“Many [mayors] represent towns still struggling to fulfill their obligations,” the Bergen Record reported. “Others spoke for municipalities locked in judicial review of their housing plans due to a 2015 State Supreme Court ruling that put judges in charge of providing guidance on how much affordable housing they [the municipalities] must accommodate.”

 

Schepisi called the hearing because the state legislature leadership (all Democrat) has refused to review the issue. Schepisi had vowed that if the legislature won’t hold meetings, she will.

 

“At the hearing,” The Record continues, “Schepisi ticked down a list of the obligations facing municipalities, and asked how towns were expected to cope. Where were the thousands of units supposed to go, she asked, in built-out Bergenfield or tiny Dumont?”

 

Schepisi invited the Fair Share Housing Center to the meeting. They responded with a letter stating that they declined to appear because they regarded the meeting as a “political stunt” designed to “create hysteria” and “encourage discrimination.”

 

“Schepisi has sponsored legislation,” the newspaper reported, “aimed at slowing the implementation of affordable housing rules. This includes a pair of recently-introduced bills that would impose a moratorium on affordable housing litigation through the end of the year and establish a commission to generate new guidelines.

 

“Assemblyman Kevin Rooney, who sat alongside Schepisi on the dais, said the state should ‘take a deep breath, slow down the process, put it back into the Legislature and take it out of the hands of the courts.’”

 

Interestingly, the Bergen Record literally “buried” the story on page 5L (the Local section of the paper) in the Obituaries section.

 

The next day, the Fair Share Housing Center assailed Schepisi, claiming she “misrepresented” several facets of the affordable housing issue in order to “stoke fear” and “encourage xenophobia.” They charged her with making false claims about the manner in which affordable housing is built, how settlement agreements establishing municipal obligations are being reached, and the total number of units the “housing center” wishes to see constructed across New Jersey.

 

However, Schepisi noted that her numbers came directly from the Fair Share Housing Center itself and “asked why housing center representatives declined to attend if they had qualms with her statements.

 

The Left is masterful at side-stepping conflicts in its ideology. They decry “man-made” climate change.  Yet, as the towns of Bloomingdale and Riverdale proceed to decimate the landscape, blowing up hills that quarry rock for roads and highways to make driving by the hated automobile easier, dislocating wildlife, destroying their habit, to make way for more human pollution, they are silent.

 

In this case, Man is no longer the reviled enemy; not if means kickbacks for mayors, town planners, developers and quarry owners in exchange for an inequitable brand of Affordable Housing that changes not only the physical, but the political, landscape, so much the better.

 

Federal Hill will be completely wiped out. Already, wild animals driven from the Federal Hill site are seeking refuge in the empty spaces of the Riverdale quarry as well as vagrants.  What was green and good in Bloomingdale will be no more.  Housing prices are falling in Bloomingdale.

 

Infernal towers are being planned for the town of Pompton Lakes. Driving along Wanaque Avenue through the main business district, it’s hard to imagine these five-story behemoths towering over that narrow street.  The street already only sees daylight for about half the day.  With the new developments, no daylight will ever reach Wanaque Avenue again.

 

Curiously, in the same edition of The Bergen Record, in the main section, was a story about the University of Virginia student, Otto Warmbier, who was arrested in North Korea for removing a communist propaganda poster. Warmbier has been returned to his family, suffering severe nerve trauma and other injuries.  Warmbier lives in Wyoming, Ohio.

 

The Cincinnati Enquirer originally reported the story, and the Bergen Record reprinted. The reporters, Jason Williams and Hannah Sparling, saw fit to end their story with the following information about Wyoming, Ohio.  What this information had to do with Warmbier’s arrest bears inquiry:

 

“Wyoming is a small, affluent community of about 8,400 people just north of Cincinnati. The poverty rate is only 2.2 percent [Editor’s note:  So what?].  The schools are among the best in the state.

 

“Warmbier [the father], a small business owner, spoke to reporters at Wyoming High School, Otto’s alma mater. Otto graduated in 2013 as a salutatorian.”

 

What does the town’s population, its poverty rate, or its school ranking have to do with the fact that the North Korean’s imprisoned Warmbier and sent him back physically debilitated, possibly for life.

 

Do the reporters regard his imprisonment and torture just punishment for his “white privilege”? That’s what Fair Share Housing feels about the defoliation of the “white” suburbs.  For them, this is social justice against the white people who fled urban blight decades ago and whose hard work and achievements have allowed them to live in better, safer neighborhoods.

 

To Fair Share, this is “racism” and they’ll blow up every green hillside in northern New Jersey and across the United States, destruction of wildlife habitat and the incursion of more people-polluters notwithstanding, in order to achieve their goal of destroying civilization as we know it.

 

Their white, liberal Democrat supporters couldn’t care less about the suburbs. They actually prefer living in condos and townhouses where they don’t have to rake leaves, shovel snow, or paint the house – or pay illegal immigrants to do the work for them.  They love birds and wild animals that are in the wild.  That doesn’t mean they want to live anywhere near them.  In fact, it is these very same New York Democrats, who have jobs in the city, who make up the majority of the residents of these warehouse developments.

 

The residents of Bloomingdale and Pompton Lakes either slept through the bombing of Federal Hill or were outright ignored by corrupt town councils. Voter participation in the recent primaries was disconcertingly low.  They toe to the old saw that you can’t fight city hall and that their votes don’t count.

 

A preponderance of Democrat, Liberal propaganda does nothing to disabuse them of that notion. There are more of us than we realize, if we would just come out of shells.  Right now, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is something of a lone ranger.  She’s under threat not just from Fair Share but the N.J. Legislature as well.

 

If we don’t do something, the next time you happen by the Obituary section of the newspaper, you may find an encomium for your own town, with some pablum about the “blessings” of diversity and multiculturalism.

 

 

 

Published in: on June 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dems Play Hardball in Anti-Trump Campaign

If you had a dog as vicious as the Democrat Party, its propagandist Mainstream Media Machine, and its Campus Cohorts, you’d have had it euthanized. In just the last two weeks or so, Trump has been beheaded by D-class comedian Kathy Griffin, stabbed in absentia in Central Park’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park summer production of Julius Caesar, and denounced in a dead assassin wannabe’s final Facebook Post:  “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.,” James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., wrote in a March 22 post.

 

But because we’re Conservatives, we don’t resort to violent tactics or rhetoric. We believe in the First Amendment.  If the Democrats want to hang by their own petard (politically-speaking), so be it.  If they think they stand any chance of winning in 2018 after this week, they’ve been smoking too much of their legal marijuana.

 

Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who had previously been arrested for assault (the charges were later dropped), decided to take it to the next level: unable, apparently, to penetrate the President’s Secret Service ring, he targeted the Republicans at a practice for the annual Republican-Democrat baseball game in Alexandria, Va.

 

Was he just a lone gunman, a nut who went off the reservation? Was he just a lunatic who was hearing voices?  Voices, such as the following?

 

Not quite a month ago, Democratic National Party Chairman and former Labor Secretary under Obama Tom Perez called President Trump “the most dangerous president in U.S. history” and declared that he “has to go.”

 

New York City Mayor DeBlasio, not to be outdone, histrionically cried, “Children will die (!)” under Trump’s budget.

According to an article in the U.K. Independent, “Women and children will die after the Trump administration instituted a new “global gag rule” that blocks aid groups from providing information about abortions if they receive US funding, it has been claimed.

“The restriction now applies to groups receiving US funds to fight HIV/Aids or even malaria and covers nearly $9 billion (£7 billion) in aid, rather than the $600m (£465 million) restricted by the original Mexico City Policy.

“The Mexico City rules, brought in by President Ronald Reagan, force NGOs to agree to ‘neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations’ if they want to apply for federal funds.

“Suzanne Ehlers, president of the PAI reproductive health NGO, said the move would ‘cause unspeakable damage to integrated care efforts across all health sectors.’ She added: ‘It will cost many around the world their lives, especially women.’”

Hodgkinson had been in the Alexandria, Va., vicinity for some time, so it’s doubtful that he saw the Shakespeare in the Park production, where an actor who looks like Trump is murdered on a nightly basis. Alec Baldwin was there, though, to support the troupe’s assassination of someone they consider a modern-day Caesar.  Who do they think they’re kidding?

 

Remember, they believe that people who voted for Trump have never read or seen Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. If they had, they would  have said that Barack Obama fit the character much better than Trump or any other United States president, except perhaps Franklin D. Roosevelt (“Grace [FDR’s secretary], I want to dictate a bill!”).

 

Surely, Hodgkinson had seen Kathy Griffins’ gruesome Trump beheading video.

 

Six days ago, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was “worried about Trump’s fitness for office” and that she thought he needs more sleep. So said the Wax Lady of Capitol Hill.

In April, a Democrat from Arizona claims he “wanted to punch” a female Republican Senator who sponsored a bill to give more school choice to families in the state.

Jesus Rubalcava, a Democratic Representative, said on social media that he wanted to commit violence against Republican Sen. Debbie Lesko because she celebrated and was “prancing around” after her school choice bill got passed, the Arizona Central reported.

The main victim of Hogdkinson’s anti-Republican attack was the third-ranking Republican in the House, Steve Scalise. The Media did its usual job of underreporting Scalise’s injuries; initially it was reported that he was struck in the hip.  However, it seems the bullet penetrated some vital organs and the Congressman is far from being out of danger.  He could still – God forbid – die.

 

Law enforcement, on the first reports of the attack, refused to identify the attacker (who was already dead) or give any definitive motive for the shooting. This despite the fact that a witness reported that the shooter asked whether Republicans or Democrats were on the field.  When he was told they were Republicans, the shooter opened fire.

 

On being asked by the New Orleans Times-Picayune to assign Barack Obama a letter grade for his first 100 days as President, Scalise awarded him an L (for “Liberal”).

 

Let us ask a question Liberal Hollywood is always fond of asking: “Where does all this hatred come from?”

 

Are they born with it? Or are they taught to hate so violently and with such vitriol?  Rarely, if ever, do we hear reports of Conservatives shooting, or attempting to shoot, Democrats.  Despite this obvious misconception, the Liberals are desperate to totally remove guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.

 

It’s Hollywood that produces the violent movies and music. The shootings overwhelmingly happen in urban, gun-free, Democrat strongholds by criminals who use illegally-obtained weapons that obviously aren’t registered.  The greatest number of deaths by legally-owned firearms are suicides.

 

Pelosi piously prayed with other Democrats and Republicans on the House floor in the wake of the shootings for all the victims. Sen. Paul Ryan declared that it was time for all members of Congress to unite in non-partisan unity and to put an end to the divisiveness dividing the country.

Surely, they cry, we can live with our differences, they pander, without resorting to violence? Really?  Has the Shakespeare-in-the-Park shut down its production of Julius Caesar and taken up, say, As You Like It (the original climate change/LBQRSTUVWXYZ play) instead?

 

Nervous ninnies are pleading with Trump not to tweet anymore, that he’s sounding more like Candidate Trump instead of President Trump. They’re calling on whoever has “influence” with The Donald to advise him not to tweet.  Why?  Because (I believe) he called Obamacare “Mean.”

 

Do the Ninnies understand nothing? “Mean” is the favorite word of the Lefty Liberal Propaganda Korps.  If I were his adviser, I would have told Mr. Trump long before he even took office to fire FBI Director James Comey immediately, on Day One; that Comey is trouble and that the longer Trump kept this snake at his side, the more likely it would be that this Obama serpent would bite him.

 

Personally, I would never advise the President not to Tweet. He wouldn’t take such advice, even if offered by the “wisest” person in his Cabinet or his Press Office.  Those are career people looking to a future when some Moderate Republican or Liberal Democrat is in office and they have to “explain” themselves.

 

The word “Mean” has five syllabic categories:

 

“Contemptible”

“Stingy”

“Shabby”

“Ignoble”

“Selfish”

 

Undoubtedly, the Lefties, in their Marxist fervor, define “Mean” as “Selfish”.

 

But here are the others.

 

Contemptible – paltry, poor, contemptible, puerile, sorry, meager, shabby, miserable, wretched, vile, scurvy, beggarly, worthless, cheap, trashy.

 

Stingy – parsimonious, stingy, miserly, shabby, close, sparing, grudging, illiberal, ungenerous, churlish, sordid, mercenary, venal, covetous, avaricious, greedy, grasping, extortionate, rapacious.

 

Shabby – beggarly, pitiful, petty, shabby.

 

Ignoble – common, mean, low, base, vile, sorry scrubby, beggarly, vulgar, low-minded, snobbish, parvenu, low-bred, menial, servile (you’d have to ask Roget, in a séance or something, how you could be snobbish and beggarly at the same time).

 

Selfish – illiberal, mean, ungenerous, narrow-minded, mercenary, venal, covetous.

 

That’s what the Left thinks of Trump when it says he’s “mean.”

 

Fortunately for us, the Thesaurus is a reference book of both opposites and similarities. If one were Trump’s Twitter advisor, one would advise him to look towards the categories of Economy versus Prodigality.

 

Economy – economical, frugal, careful, thrifty, chary, spare

 

as opposed to

 

Prodigality – profuse, lavish, wasteful, thriftless, improvident, extravagant, lavish, dissipated.

 

The President of the United States is charged with leading the American economy, although Congress controls the actual purse-strings. Democrat and Republican Deep Staters are horrified at the thought that Trump might actually succeed in bringing the country under-budget.  His budget-cutting will cost thousands of bureaucratic, government jobs.  They’ll do anything, including drawing up Articles of Impeachment to stop him in his progress.

 

Some say the Democrats are looking to a second Trump term to prevent him from winning by smearing him mercilessly. Ronald Reagan was smeared just as relentlessly but still won.  They know that every win for Trump is a loss for the Obama legacy.  By ginning up conspiracy theories about some collusion with Russia against Trump before the Republican Convention had taken place, they hoped to hamstring Trump into keeping Comey on.

 

Fire Comey, and they could bring charges of Obstruction of Justice against Trump. Now he has fired Comey and the Democrats feel justified in bringing impeachment charges against him, even though there is no evidence that Trump was ever involved in any collusion with Russia or had anything to do with influencing the election (other than to be the better candidate).

 

Meanwhile, the Establishment Republicans, who could shut down this whole convoluted business in a heart-beat, sit there twiddling their thumbs instead and talk about “unifying” Congress, even though that was never the mandate of the election. The violence of the shooting, unmistakably instigated by Democrat palaver, vitriol, and propaganda, ought to have shown the Republicans that some divides simply cannot and should not be bridged.

 

You reap what you sow. The Democrats have consistently, since the Sixties, have sown violence, discord, and strife.  They will not get away with casting their harvest upon the Republicans, particularly not the peace-loving suburban and rural Conservatives.

 

If I were Trump’s communications adviser, what would I advise him to tweet?

 

“Habeas corpus.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 15, 2017 at 5:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Senate to Comey: May We Ask You Some Leading Questions?

Sounding more like a disgruntled employee whose boss had fired him than a highly-placed official testifying for the public good, James Comey admitted in yesterday’s Senate hearings that he’d leaked a memo through a friend to the New York Times because he was “afraid” Pres. Trump may not have recorded their private conversation behind closed doors regarding the investigation into fired NSA head James Flynn.

 

Comey admitted Trump never asked him to stop the Flynn investigation.

 

Comey admitted there was no evidence of collusion with Russia.

 

And in response, Comey gave them some leading responses: ‘I started taking notes during our meetings because “I was concerned” he “might lie” about what we discussed.”

 

Comey also called the president a “liar” for claiming that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in a shambles under Comey’s leadership, even though he dropped the ball on every accusation against Hillary Clinton, including her Uranium deal and the leaked e-mails which revealed nefarious dealings in the Clinton Foundation.

 

The Democrats persistently believe that someone cost Hillary the 2016 election. Aside from Hillary herself, the prime suspect is none other than James Comey himself.

 

On his radio program yesterday, Rush Limbaugh pointed out that:

 

The Russians tried to hack the RNC and DNC networks. They were unable to hack the RNC but were able to penetrate the DNC.

 

DNC turned to CrowdStrike a domestic computer forensic service. CrowdStrike’s founder is an anti-Putin Ukrainian.  He’s anti-Putin.  The founder despises Putin.  The DNC accepted what CrowdStrike said.  Then Comey reported to the Democrats in his own voice what they wanted to hear.

 

“Mr. Comey, you never had access to the DNC server’s investigators?”

 

Comey called them a high-class operation even though CrowdStrike was caught lying about a Russian hack. It all turned out to be a lie.  There was no Russian hacking.  There’s no evidence for any underlying “crimes.”

 

The basis is a fake Russian “dossier.” He said he believed that the “dossier” was created by the Russian using MI6.  The Washington Post ran a story that the dubious Russian document led Dems to launch an investigation.  They reported that this dossier was unreliable, possibly a fake.   Comey said he didn’t want to “hamper” the investigation.

 

“My gut feeling was that I was alone.”

 

Comey admitted he was insulted that “Trump chose to defame me and the FBI by saying that the FBI was in disarray and poorly organized.”

 

The FBI director, Rush noted, is not an independent agent; he reports to the president.

 

Yet, Comey declared, “He had no business forcing me to be alone with him in a room.”

 

Former FBI executives and agents whom Limbaugh say they are not at all on the same page with Comey. Many are disturbed at how Comey has politicized this issue.  Serious legal minds cannot believe that “it” happened – exonerating Hillary.  That’s never, ever done.

 

He admitted he let Loretta Lynch shape the language in the Hillary Clinton investigation and that Lynch pressured him and that he orchestrated a memo leak. Comey only started writing memos after he met Trump.  He thought Trump was “mean” and that he was “uncomfortable with him.”

 

Comey then asked a friend at Columbia University to “share” his memos, which ended up an s news stories. He admitted to leaking documents that were his.  He admitted leaking them because he wanted a special prosecutor, a special investigator appointed.  He also admitted that there hadn’t been a criminal investigation of Trump previously, but there is now.

 

He wanted a special prosecutor because he claims Trump said, “I hope you can let this Flynn thing go…because Flynn is a good guy”

 

Why didn’t he report it? “I guess I just wasn’t courageous enough.”

 

Jim Shudo said on the Anderson Cooper program on CNN, “You know, Anderson, this Russian dossier, I’m told there might be something to it and that Comey would answer questions abou tit.”

 

But it was fully discredited and manufactured like a novel. Total fiction.

 

Breitbart.com reported:

 

) Trump was not under investigation by the FBI

When questioned by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Comey answered that President Donald Trump was not under investigation by the FBI. It was also revealed that congressional leaders had previously been briefed on this fact.

This morning Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton joined Breitbart News Daily and predicted this fact. Fitton called allegations against Trump “gossip” and “a nothing burger.”

2) James Comey leaked documents to the media

Comey admitted to orchestrating leaks from the investigation to the media using a network of friends. Reponse was swift on social media:

3) The obstruction of justice case against Trump just went up in smoke

Senator James Risch (R-ID) questioned Comey early in the hearing about the possibility of obstruction of justice regarding the investigation of General Michael Flynn. Risch repeatedly questioned Comey about the exact wording used by President Trump to him in private, which Comey recorded in his much-discussed memo.

The exchange leaves  Democrat’s hopes of impeachment for obstruction of justice considerably dimmed:

Comey: I mean, it’s the President of the United States with me alone, saying, “I hope this.” I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn’t obey that, but that’s the way I took it.

Risch: You may have taken it as a direction, but that’s not what he said.

Comey: Correct.

Risch: He said, “I hope.”

Comey: Those are exact words, correct.

Risch: You don’t know of anyone that’s been charged for hoping something?

Comey: I don’t, as I sit here.

Risch: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

4) Comey says the New York Times published fake news

James Comey had a few things to say about the reporting of the New York Times which reported on collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Senator Risch questioned Comey about the Times, asking “So the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true, is that a fair statement

5) Loretta Lynch meddled in the Clinton investigation

Comey discussed the involvement of President Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. He stated that Lynch made an odd request for how the FBI investigation should be described.

“At one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which concerned and confused me,” Comey said.

Comey added that Lynch’s infamous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton during the campaign was the reason he decided to make a statement when the decision was made not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

“In an ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department,” Comey said.

6) James Comey sounds like every disgruntled former employee ever

Comey had quite a bit to say about his firing, which leaves him looking like a disgruntled former employee.

Comey accused President Trump and his administration of lying about him, and “defaming him and more importantly the FBI.”

Comey also explained that his discomfort with the President and the belief that Trump would lie about him led to the creation of his memo on the meeting.

“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said. “I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI.”

Comey did not comment on how his leaking of the memo through his personal network helped the FBI.

Breitbart News will continue to pursue the many stories emerging from Comey’s testimony. Read through our livewire of the testimony for interesting commentary on the Comey hearing as it occurred.

Does Comey’s memo represent circumstantial evidence? Trump said he hoped there was a recording of what had been said. The memo is still only Comey’s word against the president’s. There were no witnesses and Comey’s own written memo could hardly constitute solid evidence. Comey’s object, and that of the Democrat inquisitors, seemed to be defamation rather than an inquiry for truth.

Meanwhile, Trump’s twitter machine remained silent. His response to Comey’s testimony came through his capable attorney, who denied all of Comey’s charges.

There is no evidence that Trump committed any crimes. He was perfectly within his rights as President to fire his FBI director without cause. Expressing an opinion about the state and moral of the FBI is not a crime, either. Comey may have felt insulted, but that’s just too bad. There’s plenty of evidence in that regard that Comey is guilty as charged and that Trump used sound judgment in firing him. He should have fired him on Inauguration Day as a matter of course.

Comey refused to answer any questions that might have shown Trump in a favorable light. Time and again, he responded that he could not answer this or that question in an open forum; he would only answer in a closed-door, private session. Why?

Criticizing the FBI is hardly an impeachable offense. In fact, there is no evidence that Trump has done anything that meets the Constitutional grounds for impeachment. The Democrats seemed to be backing away from the Russian collusion charges, no doubt because the allegations sound absurd to a public that is well aware of the Democrats’ Marxist tendencies.

They have not proven motive in that case. Why would Vladimir Putin, a former head of the KGB and a staunch Communist who wants to see the return of the Soviet Union, want to rig the American elections in favor of a patriotic, Capitalist businessman? In fact, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out, the Russians successfully hacked the DNC, but not the RNC.

If the Democrats have a problem with being hacked, perhaps they should investigate their own internal security. Hillary herself had an unsecured personal computer which she used for government business as Secretary of State. She made a deal with Rosatom for 20 percent of the United States’ uranium.

The Democrats and their Media, along with their Liberal Conservative Congressional cohorts have been shaking the trees for a year now with unsubstantiated rumors that somehow Trump and his cohorts were making deals with the Russians. The narrative has been out there long enough to give them the semblance of credibility without the proof. What did Goebbels say? Tell the public a lie long enough and they’ll believe it?

Congress and the Washington bureaucracy on both sides of the aisle are shaking in fear that Trump will make good on his promise to clean the swamp. They would lose their jobs. Trump’s tweeting is putting the Media in danger of losing their jobs. Why bother holding White House Press Conferences when Trump can use Twitter to speak for himself?

Trump’s tweets make Republicans extremely nervous. He’s undermining their alliance with their Democrat counterparts. Desperately, they’re trying to smear him and vilify his messages. He criticized, via Twitter, the Muslim mayor of London, Sidiq Khan, who’s had ties in the past with defending suspected Muslim terrorists.

He removed the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, vowing to negotiate a better deal that doesn’t involve the redistribution of American wealth, while other nations pay nothing. He’s fighting with the U.S. District courts to reapply his travel ban, especially in the wake of the London bombings. Trump was right here in New York City when 9/11 happened.

Republican donors and lobbyists are not happy. They see millions and maybe billions of dollars in deals going down the swamp drain if Trump is successful. Trump may represent us, the American people, but Congress represents the guys with the wallets.

By the way, this “witch hunt” is also a message to us, the American people. Congress, the activist courts, the lobbyists, and the Republican Party want us to get the message: make no mistake – they are in charge and we’re just sheeple pipsqueaks who should remember we each only represent one vote.

Trump is the only guy who’s represented us since Ronald Reagan. The Deep State is determined to destroy him at all costs. Even Conservative pundits like Stuart Varney cry, “Don’t tweet!!” The President didn’t tweet yesterday; he allowed his lawyers to speak for him, out of an abundance of caution, not guilt. That’s the way the MSM will portray it.

“He wasn’t under investigation,” Comey intoned, “but he is now.”

Says who? Why shouldn’t President Trump tweet? Varney accused him of not being funny. No rules exist on the content of Tweets, other than against profanity, libel and so forth. His messages are serious. His speeches have been tremendous. Have you noticed? The Media certainly has given him no credit for his excellent Paris Climate Accord speech.

We should contact our Senators – if they’re approachable; they’re not here in New Jersey – and let them know that we’ve had enough of this ridiculous witch hunt trial. Those of us in the business of blogging should slam this investigation for all it’s worth.   The Democrats are unwittingly at their worst and their obsequious, partisan performance should prove useful fodder in the 2018 Congressional elections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 9, 2017 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  

“Got Our Backs” Jack Ciattarelli for Governor – And Other N.J. Primary Matters

Tomorrow, June 6, is Primary Day in New Jersey (it’s also D-Day).

 

A recent poll indicates 31 percent of likely New Jersey Republican voters are undecided about who they will vote for in the NJ GOP gubernatorial primary.

 

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is running for her boss’ former position as governor. I’ve met Ms. Guadagno – I’ve photographed her. She’s a very nice lady. There’s a big but, however. Her favorite color is purple. Nice as she is, she still falls somewhere in the middling gap between Liberal and Moderate.

 

Guadagno supports sanctuary cities, opposes Trump’s immigration ban, and supports a cap-and-trade energy tax. She also is in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. But then, so do all the other candidates for the governorship in New Jersey. Just what we need – a haze of eau de weed permanently settling over our congested, driver-challenged state.

 

Jack Ciattarelli is the underdog in the race for governor. A self-made successful businessman who cut taxes in Somerset county as freeholder, Ciattarelli also voted against tax hikes as assemblyman – in particular against the extremely unpopular gas tax hike.

 

As candidate for governor, he has published a workable plan to cut state taxes. His opponent has circulated false stories (nothing new in politics). Don’t believe the rumors. Ciattarelli embraces – and has publicly defended – many of the same principles we hold dear: fiscal responsibility, the correct role of government, individual liberty.

 

Seth Grossman of Liberty and Prosperity, who is himself a former gubernatorial candidate, also recommends Jack Ciattarelli as the best choice for governor. Here’s what he wrote to his local paper:

 

“In the sick and twisted world of NJ politics, political insider Kim Guagdano is winning votes by calling her Republican Primary opponent for Governor “High-Tax Jack Ciattarelli”.

 

“I know Ciattarelli as a brilliant and honest CPA.    He succeeded in his small business without government contracts or political favors.  He cut spending and debt in both his private business and as Somerset County freeholder director.  As an Assemblyman, Ciattarelli proposed detailed, workable plans to cut spending, debt, and taxes in State Government.

 

“Eight years ago, Steve Lonegan also challenged the Republican Establishment by running for Governor against Chris Christie in the Primary. Lonegan, also a successful private business owner, had kept taxes low  as mayor of Bogota.  Chris Christie defeated Lonegan by blatantly lying about him, and falsely accusing Lonegan of wanting to raise taxes.  Guadagno is now making up those same lies about Ciattarelli, almost word for word.

 

“The candidate most likely to really cut taxes is the candidate most feared by the insiders.  He is the candidate they lie about the most and spend the most money to defeat.   In the twisted world of New Jersey politics, the only serious tax-cutting candidate on the June 6 ballot is “Got Our Backs Jack Ciattarelli”!   “When Establishment Republicans lie and depend on support from low-information voters to win, they damage our whole political system.   They discourage good people from wanting to run for public office – or even get involved in politics.   They also help Democrats by dumbing down voters, making it impossible to fix complicated problems by getting support for real solutions.

“Because of Kim Guadagno’s campaign of lies, Jack is behind in the polls.  With your help, he can easily catch up by Primary Day.   These last 8 days are when most voters are paying attention to the election on June 6.   Because very few people vote in primaries, a small group of dedicated volunteers can change everything. If you are energized and persuade ten people who normally don’t vote in primary elections to vote for Jack, we can turn those polls on their heads.

On the local level, all eyes (at least in Passaic County) are on the mayoral election in Wayne and on the Passaic County Ballot Scandal, a confusing controversy in which the county clerk is accused of playing tic-tac-toe with the county Republican ballot

 

Passaic County Chairman John M. Traier mailed out the following flyer:

 

“The Passaic County Ballot Scandal has caused voter confusion on another front. Last week, I told you about the manipulation of the Wayne Republican Primary ballot.  It was part of a conspiracy that involved Tim Troast of Pompton Lakes, the man designated as the person responsible for bracketing our county candidates on the ballot with state and local candidates.

 

“Instead of bracketing our candidates with the officially-chosen organization candidates for Mayor and Council in Wayne, Troast bracketed our candidates with those supported by Kristin Corrado, the County Clerk who is running for State Senate. The Office of the County Clerk then placed Ms. Corrado’s preferred municipal candidates on Line A and banished the officially-chosen candidates to the lower right-hand corner of the ballot on Line F.

 

“Needless to say, this illegal bracketing was challenged in court and the judge overturned it, saying that it violated the clear language of the Election Law and principles of ‘fundamental fairness.’

 

“Part of the course case involved the use of the ‘Passaic County Regular Republican Organization, Inc.’ slogan on the ballot. Evidently, earlier this year, some folks got together and started a new corporation called ‘Passaic County Regular Republican Organization Inc.’ [Note the absence of a comma in the new corporation’s name.)

 

‘Three principles of the new corporation are listed as Afzal (‘Al’) Barlas (the Essex County Republican Chairman), Kevin O’Toole (a Cedar Grove lawyer and outgoing senator from Essex County), and Robert Corrado (a Totowa lawyer and father of Kristin Corrado, the County Clerk and candidate for State Senate).

 

“In court papers, the lawyer for the office of County Clerk Kristin Corrado argued that the official Republican Organization could not object to the use of the official slogan. The judge took a look at the state’s corporation records and swept aside this argument.  The judge wondered aloud why an Essex County Republican Chairman would have anything to do with Passaic County’s organization.

 

“I am writing to let you know that this new corporation is not the official Passaic County Republican Organization. It was only started a few months ago.  I will leave it to you to decide whether the new corporation was started as part of the conspiracy to manipulate the Passaic County primary election ballot.  Such dirty tricks should be rejected.”

 

Corrado is on board for eliminating affordable housing mandates. But Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano and company were all in favor of introducing even more affordable housing into Wayne until hundreds of opponents showed up at a town hall meeting to express their displeasure.

 

(A certain news photographer who frequently encountered Vergano also gave him a friendly warning about the downside of affordable housing – the pressure on municipal services, crime, traffic, etc. – and suggested he speak to other mayors about their experiences with affordable housing before committing to it. The town of Wanaque just demolished a small development that went sour in 2013 and had become the abode of human vermin).

 

We tend to get distracted by the major headlines, like Saturday’s London Bridge attack. We mustn’t forget that our local politics are the most important of all – the politics we have the most control over.  If we abrogate the responsibility, then we have no right to complain later about the consequences when we find ourselves driving through a “Manhattanized” Wayne or Pompton Lakes.

 

 

Published in: on June 5, 2017 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ramadan Bombathon – Day 8: London Bridge

According to TheReligionofPeace.com website, 451 innocent people have been killed in 41 attacks in the name of Islam. Last night’s attack on the world-famous London Bridge (the one in London, not Arizona), a simple, flat span, seven people were killed and over 45 were in injured when a white van sped across London Bridge and onto the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians.

 

The van came to a crashing stop in front of a church. Between three and five terrorists emerged from the vehicle and ran into nearby Borough Market, an area filled with pubs and restaurants.  Once there, they began stabbing people.  Local bars shut their doors in an effort to keep the terrorists out.

 

Metropolitan police evacuated hotels and residential apartments in the area, shouting at people to keep down until they could determine whether any terrorists were in the midst. Later news video showed frightened tourists and residents hurrying down the sidewalks, their hands on their hands so the police wouldn’t shoot them.

 

Mark Rowley, head of counter-terrorism police, said eight officers had fired about 50 bullets to stop the attackers, who appeared to be suicide bombers because they were wearing what turned out to be fake suicide vests.

 

London’s Metropolitan Police arrested 12 people in the Barking district of east London in connection with the attack and raids were continuing there, the force said. A Reuters photographer saw another raid take place in nearby East Ham.

 

A third incident – another stabbing – was said to have occurred in Vauxhall. But police said the incident was not related to the London Bridge/Borough Market attack.  They claimed it was a false alarm reported in good faith.  However, the Metro Police issued this tweet at 7:51 p.m. EDT confirming that there had been a stabbing:

 

Metropolitan Police

✔ @metpoliceuk

The incident at #Vauxhall is a stabbing and is not connect to the incidents at #LondonBridge & #BoroughMarket

7:51 PM – 3 Jun 2017

 

There is a bridge over the Thames at Vauxhall, London, and on the south side of the river, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, a park that once served as an entertainment venue two or three centuries ago.

 

Once again, the authorities are wringing their hands over this vicious attack. According to the Muslim Mayor of London,  Sadiq Khan, there’s “nothing to be alarmed about” and that ‘if President Trump doesn’t allow Muslims to migrate into America, there will be more attacks.’

 

British Prime Minister Theresa May admits that security must do more to make London and Great Britain safer from terrorist attacks. Numerous experts on Islamic terrorism say, however, that there are 23,000 known terrorists in England.  In order to monitor them, the United Kingdom would need to deploy over 1 million security experts – about 60 for every terrorist.

 

The Media, of both varieties, proudly point to our secular, multicultural society that cherishes its freedom. Do we cherish freedom?  Or are we attracted to license, to do anything and everything that comes to our addled brains without considering the consequences?

 

We love our freedom so much that, while we castigate Kathy Giffin for posting a picture of herself holding a modeled head of Donald Trump, while we deplore what she did, and while we express our disgust, we don’t go so far as to actually outlaw her freedom of speech – although the Secret Service certainly should investigate because she certainly crossed the red line in issuing a threatening photo of our President.

 

Last night, I was assigned to photograph a local carnival. A carnival being what it is, filled with high-flying amusement rides, since I can’t afford a photo-drone, I was forced to take the pictures from the ground up.  I had to take the pictures very carefully because the children, particularly the girls, were glad in extremely short shorts.  When short-shorts were first introduced, worn by adult women, the more decent elements of society were outraged.  Guys liked them fine.

 

The argument is that parents should be able to dress their children anyway they please and photographers trying to capture a family event, at a church carnival, no less, be damned. ‘Why are you looking at my kid, anyway!?’  No one wants to look at your damned kid, especially so scantily clad.

 

Needless to say, I avoided the unseemly shots and got respectable pictures of kids on the ferris wheel. I’m convinced that modern parents have very little common sense, especially parents who take their kid to an Ariana Grande concert, or worse, to hear Katy Perry sing.  No one’s saying you have to dress your kids in shrouds, but for crying out loud, can’t you cover them a little better than that?

 

However, our culture stands behind its right to bare it all, let it all hang out, as they used to say in the Sixties and Seventies. It’s all hanging out and enraged religious fanatics are cutting it off.

 

What we have here is not a War on Terror or Terrorism – what a ridiculous phrase. This is a war on our culture and our way of life.  The fact that we point to our status as a “secular” culture or society says a lot about why we aren’t winning “The War on Terror.”

 

We demand secular solutions – more cops, more concrete barriers, more security, more surveillance, more and better immigration rules (that’s about the only solution that’s correct). Apparently, the one thing our secular society hasn’t tried in this religious war – that’s what it is, folks, plain and simple – is prayer.

 

Oh, we send our sympathetic prayers to victims’ families and survivors. But no clergy, to note, has prayed to God – Jehovah God (he has a name which the clergy used to use; just watch the movie “Drums Along the Mohawk” with Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert – the preacher not only says it, he shouts it) to deliver us from our enemies.  As a matter of fact, the minor prophets of the Bible wrote that God would send the Chaldeans after the unfaithful (technically, the Syrians) in the end of days.

 

The Muslims shouldn’t feel too smug about that, even though they believe they’re the messengers of Allah. According to the Bible, while He’s angry with those who have turned from His way and finds the Chaldeans useful, He’s going to fix them too for worshipping another god.

 

Our security is only human and we’re quickly being outnumbered. Apparently, it hasn’t occurred to anyone to ask God for His help.  Really, God is so angry with us that we’d be better of praying to His Son, Jesus.

 

Prayer is problematic for the secular, for they would have to search their souls for the answer and they would find that they have a good deal to atone for. We don’t believe in blaming the victim, nor does the New Testament sanction eye-for-an-eye justice or the slaughter of innocent children (their parents are another matter altogether).  We are not innocent in God’s eyes, though, and He’s not going to help a people who don’t generally go to church and, in fact, disdain the practice as a waste of valuable time.

 

Since the 1960s we’ve done everything possible to offend him. The Bible says that women shouldn’t wear men’s clothes (guilty as charged).  Women’s clothing has gotten skimpier and skimpier, while men are sporting pocketbooks and man-buns.  God is so opposed to homosexuality that He sent an asteroid crashing down to Earth to rain fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

What is our answer to God’s view of homosexuality (and adultery, pornography, prostitution, and idol worship – otherwise known as multicultural diversity)? He’s so “insensitive.”  Those who’ve read the Bible are horrified by God’s violence.  Doesn’t bother Him in the least.  He’s God and who do we think we are criticizing Him.  He created us, not the other way around.

 

The emptier our churches become, the emptier our lives become. Not that our society would notice.  We have 24/7 cable, I-phones, computers, SUVs, vacation homes, landscapers and nannies to finish our every chore.  Our jobs generally don’t require much, if any, physical labor and when we get home, we can just plop on our couches and vegetate.

 

We’re also amazingly connected to one another. People are so attached to their I-phones that in the future, humans will probably have some sort of USB hub surgically implanted so that they can literally use their I-phones hands-free.  Just say the word, and a Google screen will appear before our eyes.  Say the search word and you’re done; start reading.

 

The Bible says that God stopped talking to Man eons ago – or was it that we stopped hearing him because the fat around our brains had grown so dense that we could no longer hear Him; just our own voices.

 

“Go home and rethink your life,” Obi-Wan Kenobi told a bar patron in “The Attack of the Clones.” Good idea.  Nobody’s condoning Muslim violence or insurrection.  While I’m a teetotaler myself, everyone else need not give up alcohol altogether (except adults when they drive and minors no matter where they are).  No one should have to fear being slaughtered like a sheep just because they want to have a glass of wine or beer.

 

Nor should women have to wear shrouds. But it would be nice if they did a better job of covering up their lady parts.  Nothing in Heaven or Earth or Undersea will ever persuade some young women not to wear mini-skirts that reveal everything “down to Florida,” as Carrie Fisher described the metal bikini she had to wear in Return of the Jedi.  But even just a smidgeon of modesty would go a long way in ameliorating God.

 

Please God. Not the Muslims.  They don’t deserve any special deference for murderous piety.  The only reason their women wear the hijab is because their menfolk would beat them to death.  Girls are frequently mutilated in the Middle East and are not allowed to get a proper education.

 

Think this is only about a relatively small number of fanatics? Think again.  Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of all this jihadism, is a strictly conservative Muslim country.  When our military was still based there, the female soldiers would go to parties in the cities when they were off-duty, scantily clad and flirting with the wealthy, male party-goers.

 

The local religious police were so upset that they complained to the Army post and the women had to be confined to base unless they could promise that they would abide by the local dress code. They weren’t even allowed to drive in-country.  Women aren’t allowed to drive, divorce or be seen with any man not related to them.  They’re really not supposed to go outdoors at all, but in this matter, the Kingdom has become somewhat more liberalized.

 

Nearly every Muslim country that had a secularized, Westernized culture has been destroyed by the religious fanatics. We’re talking about Muslim countries.  Beirut was considered the Paris of the Mediterranean.  By the end of the Seventies, the city was in shambles.  Since those days, it has been rebuilt.  But it features very few, if any, resort hotels for Westerners.

 

Saudi Arabia’s monarchy welcomes Westerners. In particular, it welcomes their business.   Saudi Arabia is rather harder on terrorists than other Islamic nations.  Jordan, too, is still a Westernized, secular nation, with an English-speaking, English and American-educated monarch.  King Abdullah is said to welcome the fight against radical Jihadism.

 

The Diversity Doctrine simply isn’t going to work with the Islamists. They want war.  They live for war.  They hate us.  They hate our culture.  They hate (with a passion) our bikini-clad, hip-hugging, short-short-sporting females.  They hate Judaism (for rejecting God) and Christianity (for letting Jesus down).  They believe the only way to ensure compliance is through fear and – yes – terror.  They’re willing to terrorize even their own people.

 

Are all the Muslims terror-minded? Or terrified.  Probably the latter.  The peaceful hope to persuade us to “cross the bridge” and convert before it’s too late for us.  Given last night’s attack, it’s not hard to imagine in the future, given a Muslim majority in London – they have a Muslim mayor right now – that London’s famous pubs and taverns will be shut down; for “security purposes,” of course.  London’s East End will go dark.  England’s “culture” will vanish and along with it, tourism.  The monarchy will be abolished and Christians will be executed for resisting Islam.  Those who refuse to submit (that’s the definition of Islam) will either pay the jizya, the Muslim tax, or be jailed.  Or beheaded.

 

Converts will be expect to use the right hand to eat, touch and present gifts. As in much of Asia and the Middle East, the left is generally regarded as unclean, as it is used for unclean activities (i.e., going to the bathroom.)

Middle Easterners often greet each other with a number of ritual phrases and fixed responses. Ancient custom governs these interactions. To Western eyes, profuse greetings, inquiries about health and well-being often take up inordinate amounts of time but it is important in establishing friendly relations. Remember, however, it is insulting to ask about a Muslim’s wife or another female family member.

Eye contact during discussions–often long and direct–is important. Staring is not necessarily rude (except gazing at women).

Be aware of appearing to be in a hurry when you are among Arabs. For example, during a business appointment or social visit with an Arab, do not look at your watch or otherwise act as if you have little time to talk. Arabs can be very offended by this. Time is much less rigidly scheduled in Arab countries than in western countries.

Pointing your finger or a pen at anyone while speaking, or beckon anyone with your finger. It is considered a threat, and only animals are treated in this manner. Harrison Ford, take note.

Take care when sitting. Avoid stretching legs in front of or sitting up higher than others, sitting with the left hand behind the back, or positioning oneself so the shadows fall upon half of one’s body.

Avoid putting feet on tables or furniture. Show respect. Refrain from leaning against walls, slouching in chairs, and keeping hands in pockets. Keep from pointing with the feet. Do not show the soles of the feet, as they are the lowest and dirtiest part of the body.

Muslims worldwide in secular countries have shown a strong disinclination to assimilate. They are never going to accept our secular culture.  Ever.  There is never going to be a moment of unity.  The peaceful Muslims know they cannot assimilate, no matter how eager they might be to extend a friendly (male) hand.  The Islamists are like the Brown Shirts in 1930s Germany – they’ll kill anyone they regard as apostate.

What peaceful Muslims there are might have more respect for us if we at least followed our own religion(s) – Judaism and Christianity. We used to be a Christian nation and radical Muslims like Sayyid Qutb still hated us.  We’re too moderate, too liberal for their tastes.  Even back during World Wars I and II, they despised us.

 

The truth is, if you read the Old Testament, God hates us. Jesus loves us.  God, not so much.  That is, He hates apostates as much as the Muslims do.  The world “loathe” is used innumerable times in the Old Testament and He used a dirty word that meant “dung” in Hebrew to describe the idolaters, homosexuals, adulterers (and that means everyone who does it without benefit of marriage) and other Jews who failed in their faith.

Then along came Jesus, who intervened between an angry God and the people with whom He was furious. That angry God had – and still has – no problem with wiping out the unfaithful.  Revelations is filled with the warnings of what is to come.  Nor will Jesus be the meek, mild savior of old.  Revelations tells us he’ll have a new name and he’ll be just as angry and vengeful as His father.  Can you blame him?  Did he die on the cross only for us to let Him down?

There is always hope for the repentant. Only our society isn’t very humble.  We’re being led by a satanic-like “entertainment” industry that teaches us to mock and reject God.  America expelled God from school in 1962.  Nativity scenes and Christmas concerts have been banned.  Easter Sunday features a pagan custom in which children run one another down to grab the Easter Eggs out of the hands of toddlers.

If we won’t pray to God, then there’s only one other answer to our dilemma, one we don’t especially care for as a “free” nation.

Suppose you have a hornet’s nest near your children’s swing-set or sandbox. What do you do?  Do you remove it (legally, that is!!!)?  Or do you say, “Well, not all the hornets are violent.  Some of them are just worker-hornets (like worker-bees, only they have bigger stingers); they’re not looking to harm anyone.  They just one to live in peace and be left alone to gather whatever it is they gather.

“Let’s just look out for the ‘dangerous’ hornets, the ones that pose a danger to our kids. They’re really only a small percentage of the nest.  If we can catch them, the rest of the nest can live in peace.  Our children will learn to live in harmony with the hornets.  The idea of burning the nest (the most effective means of destroying a hornets’ nest) is so violent and cruel.  The hornets have just as much right to be here as we do.”

And so the multicultural diversity argument drones on.

 

Do you just wait to pick out the “dangerous” hornets? Or do you remove the entire nest (with the clear understanding that the disturbed hornets will rally and attack you, which is why people generally burn the nests once out of harm’s way)?

 

First, our society, our culture needs to “get right with God” again, as the saying goes. Our God, Jehovah, not Allah.  We need to clean up our act, reject the Kathy Gibbins of the world, the Katy Perrys, the Whoopi Goldbergs.  We need rework our wardrobes.  A little more modesty and a little less flesh would go a long way in gaining God’s good-will.  And a stronger mouthwash, to cleanse our tongues of our addiction to profanity might be nice.

 

A little more fear of God might make the terrorists a good deal less fearsome. Christianity is the best answer to Islamic radicalism.  If our own consciences are clean, then we owe them nothing.  Not that we owe them anything.  But we will not prevail.  We are as weak and degenerate as they claim.  That shouldn’t give them the right to murder us, although they believe it does.

 

However, if we go on blindly as we are, wearing rose-colored glasses about our licentious, libertine society, we’ll fare no better than Adam and Eve. The Islamic terrorists will come with their slaughtering knives and destroy us to the last man, woman and child.

 

And God will just shrug.

Published in: on June 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trump on Paris Climate Accord – I’m Only for Americans

“I wouldn’t bring up Paris if I were you – it’s poor salesmanship.” Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) in Casablanca (1942)

 

Only for Americans

The midnight life in gay Paree

The Frenchman he would never see

It’s only for Americans

The prices in the smart cafe

The Frenchman he would never pay

The price that’s more is only for Americans from the U.S.A.

 

From “Only For Americans,” Irving Berlin, 1947

 

Pres. Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the deal is off for the Paris Climate Accord, signed by former Pres. Obama in 2015 along with 195 other nations. Obama famously claimed he would suck up the excess ocean water from climate change like Superman.  But Trump said, “Non merci” to the expensive climate change pact that would cost Americans $100 per person every year until the end of this century.

 

Representing the United States, Obama pledged $3 billion per year. He vowed that paper manufacturing, cement production, and natural gas would be cut by up to 30 percent.  Steel, iron ore, and clean coal would be cut up to 80 percent, resulting in the loss of millions of jobs.

 

China, a major polluter, would not be required under the Paris Accord to cut emissions until the year 2030. Meanwhile, India will receive billions of dollars in climate change money just over the next few years.

 

According to the Copenhagen Consensus Center, the cost of the Paris Accord would be $1 to $2 trillion globally ever year, while the global temperature would only be lower by 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, far below the predicted 1.6 degree Fahrenheit reduction. By the end of this year, the temperature would only be lower by 0.057 degrees.

 

This deal is a massive redistribution of wealth that does next to nothing for the environment and only doles out United States tax money to other countries. Liberals claim that Trump is ignorant in matters of policy, especially climate change. However, his speech was spellbinding for its numerous details.

“I am fighting every day for the great people of this country,” he said. “Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord. But we will begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the U.S., its business, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.

“So we are getting out. But we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.

“The Paris climate accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering an agreement that disadvantages the U.S., leaving American workers who I love and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs and lower wages and vastly diminished economic production. Thus, as of today, the U.S. will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian and financial economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.

“This includes ending the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund, which is costing the U.S. a vast fortune

“Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the National Economic Research Associates. This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs — not what we need — believe me, this is not what we need — including automobile jobs, and the further decimation of vital American industries on which countless communities rely. They rely for so much, and we would be giving them so little.

“But [former] president cites an industry study that doesn’t count clean energy jobs or the cost of climate change.

According to this same study, by 2040, compliance with the commitments put into place by the previous administration would cut production for the following sectors: paper down 12 percent; cement down 23 percent; iron and steel down 38 percent; coal — and I happen to love the coal miners — down 86 percent; natural gas down 31 percent. The cost to the economy at this time would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have $7,000 less income and, in many cases, much worse than that.

Not only does this deal subject our citizens to harsh economic restrictions, it fails to live up to our environmental ideals. As someone who cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States — which is what it does — the world’s leader in environmental protection, while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters.

For example, under the agreement, China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years — 13. They can do whatever they want for 13 years. Not us. India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries. There are many other examples. But the bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.

Further, while the current agreement effectively blocks the development of clean coal in America — which it does, and the mines are starting to open up. We’re having a big opening in two weeks. Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, so many places. A big opening of a brand-new mine. It’s unheard of. For many, many years, that hasn’t happened. They asked me if I’d go. I’m going to try.

Trump noted that he is the “president” of Pittsburgh, not Paris. Pittsburgh responded by vowing to honor the Paris Accord, much in the same way sanctuary cities have vowed to violate federal law regarding illegal immigration.

 

Meanwhile, the Left is marching around with “The End is Near Signs” and trying to frighten the general populace with dire warnings about climate change flooding from rising ocean levels, fiercer winters, hotter summers, melting icebergs in the Antarctic, and homeless polar bears.

 

They are in special effects overload slamming Trump for his decision to exit the Paris Accords. These human freaks of nature are an outgrowth of 1970s environmentalism which taught that humans are evil, selfish creatures who will destroy the planet.

 

Certainly there are illegal polluters, just as there are illegal immigrants. It would be nice if someone would catch the villain who dumps illegal chemicals into Post Brook in Pompton Lakes and boil him in his own oil or cleaning fluid or whatever it is with which he’s poisoning the brook.  They dig a hole in the ground some short distance from the bank and eventually the stuff comes out into the brook and bubbles its way downstream.

 

But to envision the world coming to an end because of human activity is utter nonsense. By human activity, the Liberals mean Industrial Capitalists, not the human pigs who throw trash along every highway and byway in the United States, throw shopping carts into lakes and ponds, and decorate every woodland trail and city street with fast-food bags, soda cans, cigarettes butts, and heroin packets.

 

Environmentalism is for the guys with the deep pockets whom the Liberals can regulate, fine and sue for billions of dollars, not the average slob who leaves in his wake a flotilla of trash and filth. Then, too, there are the collegial Snowflakes whose cafeterias are hovels of garbage.

 

Climate change? Give me a break.  You see that big, bright light up in the sky.  Well, don’t actually look at it directly.  But look it up on the Internet.  You’ll see videos of huge solar flares that bombard us with heat and radiation every day.  There’s your global warming.  That’s the reason the temperature goes up and down.  That’s the Sun’s job.  You can’t very well sue the Sun for doing what comes naturally.

 

The Liberals vomit hatred for Conservatives every single day. They’ve been doing for a century now.  This November is the 100th Anniversary of the Communist Revolution in Russia.  Vladimir Lenin was much like Kathy Griffin, foul-mouthed and venomous.  He based the revolution on the philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

 

Perhaps it’s time to revisit them, with additional commentary from laissez-fairerepublican.com on Marxist the United States itself has become:

 

  1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.

The courts have interpreted the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868) to give the government far more “eminent domain” power than was originally intended, Under the rubric of “eminent domain” and various zoning regulations, land use regulations by the Bureau of Land Management property taxes, and “environmental” excuses, private property rights have become very diluted and private property in land, vehicles, and other forms are seized almost every day in this country under the “forfeiture” provisions of the RICO statutes.

 

  1. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

 

The 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913 (which some scholars maintain was never properly ratified), and various State income taxes, established this major Marxist coup in the United States many decades ago.  These taxes continue to drain the life-blood out of the American economy and greatly reduce the accumulation of desperately needed capital for future growth, business starts, job creation, and salary increases.

  1. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

 

Another Marxian attack on private property rights is in the form of Federal & State estate taxes and other inheritance taxes, which have abolished or at least greatly diluted the right of private property owners to determine the disposition and distribution of their estates upon their death.  Instead, government bureaucrats get their greedy hands involved.

 

  1. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

 

We call it government seizures, tax liens, “forfeiture” Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. [Belle’s Blog doesn’t agree that the imprisonment of Islamic or Marxist terrorists constitutes a loss of freedom or an acceptance of Marxist ideals. But in the event of a full-blown insurrection in which America became a de facto communist state, patriotic Americans could be charged with “terrorism” for defending their homeland and their freedom.]

 

  1. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

 

The Federal Reserve System, created by the Federal Reserve Act of Congress in 1913, is indeed such a “national bank” and it politically manipulates interest rates and holds a monopoly on legal counterfeiting in the United States.   This is exactly what Marx had in mind and completely fulfills this plank, another major socialist objective.   Yet, most Americans naively believe the U.S. of A. is far from a Marxist or socialist nation.

  1. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.

In the United States, communication and transportation are controlled and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established by the Communications Act of 1934 and the Department of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission (established by Congress in 1887), and the Federal Aviation Administration as well as Executive orders 11490, 10999 — not to mention various state bureaucracies and regulations. There is also the federal postal monopoly, AMTRAK and CONRAIL — outright socialist (government-owned) enterprises.   Instead of free-market private enterprise in these important industries, these fields in America are semi-cartelized through the government’s regulatory-industrial complex.

  1. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

 

While the U.S. does not have vast “collective farms” (which failed so miserably in the Soviet Union), we nevertheless do have a significant degree of government involvement in agriculture in the form of price support subsidies and acreage allotments and land-use controls.   The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture. As well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

  1. Equal obligation of all to work.  Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

We call it the Social Security Administration and the Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000. The Equal Rights Amendment means that women should do all work that men do including the military and since passage it would make women subject to the draft. [In Communist countries, particularly the Soviet Union, it was against the law not to work.]

 

  1. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

 

We call it the Planning Reorganization Act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136.

  1. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.

 

People are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, which train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education.”

The Liberals hate him because they are scared to death of him. He is a threat to their existence.  He’s been putting his head down and just boring straight ahead to eliminate their bureaucratic existence.  Trump is creating his own “climate change” in Washington, D.C.  Bureaucrats and lobbyists for the Left are on his extinction list, and these Democrat Dinosaur fear for their political lives.

 

California Gov. Jerry Brown is leading the climate change charge along with former Vice President Al Gore. If Jerry Brown is for something, you know it’s bad.   Gore was caught in a moment of seizure upon learning the news that the United States would be exiting the Paris Accord.

 

But for all their alarums about how “children will die!” Trump is forging ahead with making America great again. Thus the Liberal clamor to try to drown him out before he gains even more popularity for his America First stances.  A victory for Trump in climate change could cost the Democrats in next year’s Congressional elections.  They must put forth every effort to turn Trump from a champion into a chump.

 

Every roar you hear from a Liberal about Trump is actually a whimper, every shout a sob, and every insult a cry of desperation not for global demise but for the loss of planetary plenary. Trump knows the difference between global environmental protection and global wealth redistribution.

 

And so do we.

 

 

 

Published in: on June 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Heading Up the Anti-Trump Campaign

First, the Media posted a fake news story about First Lady Melania Trump “brushing away” her husband’s hand in a fit of pique. When the GIF clip finally surfaced, what the video showed was the First Lady lifting her hand to brush her hair out of her face as they descended the stairway onto the tarmac, just as Trump was reaching for her hand.

While the truth lay dormant for as long as possible, the Media had a field day.

Then there was the covfefe nonsense over which the Media and Hollywood stars are gloating, even though there’s nothing to the story at all. Trump was simply trying to type “coverage” at the end of his sentence, he made a typo and when he tried to correct it, Twitter’s correction went kerflooey and kept repeating the typo and the correction – f e f e.

Another non-story that had the Left accusing Trump of all sorts of nonsense, from suffering a stroke to speaking in tongues.

But the worst, which has been hidden behind Handgate and Covfefe Syndrome, is D-List “comedienne” Kathy Griffin posing with a grisly mock-up of the President’s head, suggesting that Trump should be beheaded for threatening to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Accord and for “discriminating” against women.

Why Griffin wasn’t immediately arrested by the Secret Service is a mystery. There is word on Breitbart.com that the Secret Service has opened an investigation into the incident. She hasn’t been arrested (yet) but CNN fired her for the horrific posting. Such a backlash arose even from the Left over her criminally tactless photo that she was forced to issue a cringing apology. She is a pariah even in the over-the-top, under-the-radar, pushing-every-button Celebrity universe.

Barron Trump, President Donald Trump’s 11-year-old son, reportedly “panicked” and became distressed after seeing Kathy Griffin’s now-infamous “beheading” photograph because he didn’t know who Griffin was or understand the context of the photo.

According to Breitbart.com, TMZ reported that Trump’s youngest son was watching television Tuesday when he saw the image of Griffin holding a fake, bloody decapitated head meant to resemble the president’s head.

Sources told the gossip outlet that Barron “panicked” and began calling for his mother, First Lady Melania Trump.

“He’s 11. He doesn’t know who Kathy Griffin is and the head she was holding resembled his dad,” the source told TMZ.

The photo of Griffin holding up Trump’s severed head, taken during a photo shoot with L.A.-based artist Tyler Shields, was first published Tuesday morning by TMZ and sparked a firestorm online, with backlash coming from both sides of the political aisle and thousands of people calling for a boycott of Griffin’s national comedy tour.

While the Left can’t very well support Griffin’s reprehensible photography, they are attacking the President’s 11 year-old son for having a panic attack over the bloody picture of his father’s head. They can’t imagine why he’s so upset. Can’t he tell the difference between reality and “fantasy”?

Is this an admission on the part of Leftist Hollywood that they’ve so desensitized children to violence that no child should be horrified at seeing a representation of their father being beheaded? Kids see that stuff all the time, don’t they? In the new Netflix series, “The Last Kingdom” about the life of Alfred the Great, a Viking shows up on the castle doorstep holding the head of young Alfred’s brother. By the way, it’s a great series, although probably not for children.

The Left would argue that children in 862 A.D. England saw such things all the time and modern children see it in the movies and on television, so that must make poor Barron Trump a wimp. Maybe they’re just preparing us for the real thing when we finally discover that there’s no such thing as the War on Terror; terror being just a method, it’s the goal of the particular terrorists that poses the problem to Western civilization – a worldwide caliphate.

Maybe Barron’s “mommy” doesn’t want to let sonny watch violent movies. That’s what the Left would say, and they ought to know because they’re the ones producing this garbage. As far as they’re concerned, at age 11 he should be embracing the horror movie cult, not cringing in fear at it. That’s their target audience.   In a subversive counter-culture, desensitizing the young to sex, drugs, rock n’roll, and horror movies is the ultimate goal. The younger the better. Eleven is the new thirteen. Why do you think school districts have moved 5th graders into the middle schools?

In short, the Left wants to make Barron out to be a sissy.

Nothing personal, there, Barron, the Left seems to be saying. All in good fun (and bad taste), don’t you know? Still, CNN did fire the debauched Griffin and it was high time. Her trademark is the lowest form of humor – profanity, insults, “dishing the dirt” on other celebrities. I watched her – once.

The good news is that the Left has finally been caught in its own petard. Breaching the wall of decency, they went just too far this time. No apology can atone for it, no excuses can be made for it, and no contrition should be accepted. We should push back on this all the way to condemning partisan violence, raising our cultural standards again, and returning to more civilized discourse that recognizes both sides of any issue.

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trump’s Covfefe Conundrum

All of Washington is a-twitter over Pres. Donald Trump’s seemingly indecipherable Twitter message, apparently sent out in the middle of the night.

 

“Despite the negative press covfefe”

 

I was in the midst of hunting down my new adopted cat, Molly, who burst out of my back door within five minutes of entering my house – says a lot about my housekeeping – when I heard about this latest fandango.

 

“Despite the constant negative press covfefe…” I wrote the word down intending to decipher.  But first I had to hunt down my missing cat.  She’s in a thicket on the property next door.  She’s plenty hungry, eating a large can of tuna, a can of wet cat food, and a snack bag filled with ham pieces.

 

So, I’ll get to her later.

 

Once I sat down to solve this enigma (I love cryptography), I saw the answer immediately. Just by the content and structure of his sentence it was obvious he was trying to write “coverage.”

 

But the president hit a wrong key and as all of us have found when trying to correct something on Facebook, Twitter or on an IPhone, correcting our mistakes is not an easy task. The cursor has a tendency to back over too many letters – and then it types out too many letters (i.e., fefe) until you finally give up in exasperation.

 

That’s all there is to it. No big mystery.  It’s something that’s happened to all of us.  So we can all calm down now.  Trump wasn’t tweeting in tongues.  He didn’t have a stroke.  He wasn’t suffering from sleep deprivation.  His marbles are all there, and then some.

 

He just made a typo that refused to correct itself and wound up getting heaps of negative press coverage.

 

 

 

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

NJ Supreme Court Steamrolls Suburbs into Creating Even More Affordable Housing

The other day, as I was typing out a recent blog, I heard a familiar rumble – two rumbles actually – a little more distant than usual, but still audible and ominous. Another two sections of Federal Hill in Bloomingdale had been blown into oblivion.

 

Bloomingdale and the Tillcon Quarry are in a race against time. In January of this year, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of expanding the Affordable Housing mandate.  But a new foe has arisen in the languid New Jersey Assembly:  Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale).  Schepisi has either sponsored or co-sponsored no less than 11 pieces of legislation to beat back the assault on New Jersey suburbs.

 

We are facing the equivalent of housing Armageddon.  A non-profit entity with ties to developers, The Fair Share Housing Center, is attempting to force towns across the state to build 280,000 affordable housing units throughout New Jersey in the next nine years.

Residents in towns across the state, Democrat and Republican alike, feel as if they have a proverbial gun to their head.  They are being forced to enter into settlements that could be disastrous to their communities as a result of lawsuits brought by this non-profit.  They are spending money they don’t have to fight unreasonable court-mandated obligations. This is an unwavering threat to taxpayers who can’t afford already nation-high property taxes.

 

We cannot let the courts get away with allowing a non-profit that has no constitutional power to force towns into building what they don’t need. It is also unfathomable that the court would legislate what is best for individual communities. If the Fair Share Housing Center gets its way, the state will be unrecognizable and the change will be irreversible.  If allowed to stand, these mandates can raise property taxes and destroy many other benefits we have come to enjoy in the already most densely populated state as well as create serious social services and educational problems.

 

A special giveaway to developers allows New Jersey to be forced to build approximately 1.4 million homes – a minimum 2,500 per community; a true social engineering disaster that most don’t want and did not ask for.  The assemblywoman has introduced two bills to the New Jersey Legislature giving it time to stop the mad drive to erase local control of our communities, raise our property taxes even higher and change the face of our communities forever.

The suburbs and your town are being squeezed head to toe and although he is Republican, Gov. Chris Christie is no ally in this fight.  He is at the vanguard of a regionalization plan that would wipe out our local identities and severely hamper our already struggling municipal services.

 

As reported on North Jersey.com on Jan. 18, 2017: In a decision that could reshape hundreds of communities, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday  [the day of publication] that municipalities must allow the development of affordable housing for poor and middle-class families whose needs were ignored for more than 16 years.

 

The state’s top court voted 6-0 to reject arguments advanced by several towns, Gov. Christie’s administration and the League of Municipalities, who said local governments faced no legal requirement to provide affordable housing for poor and middle-class families during a period spanning from 1999 to 2015.

 

The ruling — and dozens of recent settlements negotiated separately by towns — are likely to spur the development of tens of thousands of affordable housing units in New Jersey over the next decade. But it is unclear exactly how many. Estimates vary widely and the Supreme Court did not settle that issue on Wednesday.

 

The Fair Share Housing Center, a nonprofit that argued on behalf of poor and middle-class families, said towns would have been able to avoid up to 60 percent of their affordable housing obligations over the next decade if the court had ruled the other way, leading to more racially and economically-segregated communities.

 

“This ruling means that thousands of lower-income and minority families will be given the opportunity to live in safe neighborhoods, send their children to good schools and work at jobs where they live instead of traveling hours commuting each day,” said Colandus Francis, chairman of Fair Share Housing Center’s board and an official with the Camden chapter of the NAACP.

 

Michael Cerra, assistant executive director of the League of Municipalities, said the ruling raised more questions than answers and would generate more litigation in the lower courts as experts try to decipher how many affordable housing units must now be built. But the justices also attempted to “forge a compromise” on Wednesday, he said, because they rejected some arguments from the Fair Share Housing Center and, as a result, municipalities’ obligations will not increase as much as some housing advocates wanted.

 

In a decision written by Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, the high court once again reaffirmed its commitment to a series of landmark housing rulings in the Mount Laurel cases that date to 1975. The New Jersey justices for decades have said that the state’s poorest residents have a right to affordable housing opportunities in their communities and that towns must allow a reasonable level of development.

 

Enforcing the court’s housing decisions, however, has been a haphazard process. Suburban towns have resisted the Mount Laurel rulings over decades of follow-up litigation. The state Council on Affordable Housing, or COAH, which was created to oversee the program statewide in 1985, has been famously broken for years and stopped issuing rules in 1999.

 

 

The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the delays had gone on too long; it ordered towns to sidestep COAH and go directly to trial court judges to settle affordable housing disputes.

 

But then the question became what to do about housing needs that went unfulfilled from 1999 to 2015, the period during which COAH was paralyzed. LaVecchia wrote that the court would “waste no time” settling that question. The state constitution requires municipalities to provide affordable housing for the “gap period,” she wrote.

 

In effect, the state Supreme Court made their ruling retroactive, a controversial move.

 

“The Mount Laurel constitutional affordable housing obligation did not go away,” LaVecchia wrote.

 

“Attending to that need is part of the shared responsibility of municipalities,” she added later.”

 

In an extreme liberal interpretation of the state’s constitution, Northjersey.com quoted the judge as saying, “We hold that towns are constitutionally obligated to provide a realistic opportunity for their fair share of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households formed during the gap period and presently existing in New Jersey.”

 

Although Christie opposes the Mount Laurel mandates, the four justices he has appointed — Anne Patterson, Faustino Fernandez-Vina, Lee Solomon and Walter Timpone — all joined LaVecchia’’s opinion, as did Justice Barry Albin. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner did not participate in the case.

 

Christie was not involved directly, but the Attorney General’s Office had filed a brief concurring with one town, Barnegat, whose attorney argued that it had no obligation to provide affordable housing for the gap period. A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office declined to comment Wednesday.

 

One of the central questions before the Supreme Court was a technical one: Which legal term should be used when calculating a town’s unfulfilled affordable housing obligations from 1999 to 2015?

 

The state’s Fair Housing Act of 1985 orders municipalities to consider “present need” and “prospective need.”

 

Attorneys for the Fair Share Housing Center had urged the court to rule for “prospective need.”  That would lead to thousands more units being built, they said. But the justices went with “present need,” and they redefined that term to include the housing obligations that stacked up from 1999 to 2015, “a period of time affecting almost a generation of New Jersey citizens,” LaVecchia wrote.

 

Kevin Walsh, the lead attorney for the Fair Share Housing Center, said the ruling was nevertheless a breakthrough.

 

“This decision clears away one of the main obstacles remaining in the fight for fair housing in New Jersey,” Walsh said. “The towns who [sic] were fighting in court are outside the mainstream and now know that they will not be rewarded for further obstruction and delay.”

 

Staci Berger, president of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, said state residents have been buffeted by a recession, record foreclosure rates and Superstorm Sandy.

 

“Our hardworking families, seniors and people with disabilities have struggled to find homes they could afford during this time,” she said. “New Jerseyans and their needs did not simply disappear during the gap period, and as the court ruled, they cannot be ignored.”

 

Cerra said the justices’ ruling “doesn’t really provide finality.”  Experts will now go back and forth in the lower courts debating how to calculate towns’ housing obligations, he predicted. Out of 565 municipalities in the state, 150 to 200 have yet to resolve what level of affordable housing they will be providing over the next decade, Cerra said.

 

“The ruling provides little guidance and will likely result in additional property tax resources being expended,” said Michael Darcy, the League of Municipalities’ executive director. “We again call upon the administration and legislature to craft long-overdue reforms and promulgate a reasonable, rational state housing policy.”

 

The state justices said that from now on, municipalities calculating their “present need” must account for “overcrowded and deficient housing units,” as well as “an analytic component that addresses the affordable housing need of low- and moderate-income households created since 1999.”

 

Households that were low- or moderate-income from 1999 to 2015 must still be in that income bracket presently and must still be located in New Jersey in order to count, the court said. Officials should not factor in deceased people or double-count units that already have been deemed “deficient,” LaVecchia added. As before, municipalities also must continue to factor in their “prospective need,” which estimates future demand for affordable housing.

 

Whether to provide zoning for affordable housing, and how much, are issues that have divided the state for years, often pitting Democrats against Republicans. Some wealthy suburban towns and rural municipalities warn that the court’s mandates would lead to more sprawl and higher property taxes.

 

“This court-ordered overdevelopment will change the landscape of many communities,” said Assemblyman Parker Space, (R-Warren). “It will decimate open space while forcing taxpayers to pay for additional services to handle the increase in population. Property taxes will skyrocket.”

 

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, R-River Vale, criticized the court and said “the failure of the legislature to address the social engineering of the court should not result in changing communities forever.”

 

“This ruling clearly creates potential challenges for municipalities who already built out much of their developable land over the last 16 years,” said Joseph DeCotiis, an attorney at the DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole and Giblin law firm, which represented Brick Township. “Additionally, many developers who already have planned market-rate housing on properties in many of these municipalities may be forced to reconfigure those designs to meet new requirements at their own cost.”

 

Although several bills have been introduced in recent years, New Jersey lawmakers have not advanced any legislation on affordable housing matters since a failed attempt at reform in early 2011. Christie for years has shown no interest in fixing the program or enforcing the state’s affordable housing laws. But the Supreme Court said they are welcome to try again.

 

“We recognize, as we have before, that the legislature is not foreclosed from considering alternative methods for calculating and assigning a municipal fair share of affordable housing, and to that end, we welcome legislative attention to this important social and economic constitutional matter,” LaVecchia wrote.

 

The Supreme Court upheld a ruling issued last summer by the state Appellate Division. Although that decision was much more favorable to towns seeking to tamp down their housing quotas, the justices drastically modified it in a way that will ramp up housing obligations.

 

Fair Share Housing Development FSHD was founded in 1986 by civil rights activists in response to the landmark Mount Laurel Doctrine, which prohibits towns from shutting out the poor through exclusionary zoning and requires each New Jersey municipality to plan, zone and take the necessary affirmative measures to provide realistic housing opportunities for its “fair share” of the regional need for affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income households, the elderly and disabled.

The Mount Laurel Doctrine has led to the development of over 60,000 affordable housing units outside New Jersey’s racially and economically-segregated urban centers.

 

According to its website, the Fair Share Housing Center “fights to defend the rights of New Jersey’s poor by monitoring, enforcing and expanding the Mount Laurel Doctrine.”

 

Fair Share Housing Development (FSHD) is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit corporation with offices in Mount Laurel and Camden, N.J.  The organization was founded by Peter J. O’Connor in 1986 to develop, own and manage affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, seniors and the disabled in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.

 

FSHD and its predecessor organizations, the nonprofit housing programs of the Carpenters Union of South Jersey, have three decades of experience in developing and managing affordable rental housing. FSHD currently manages 656 rental units in five affordable housing complexes in southern New Jersey with over 2,000 tenants.

 

In 2000-2004, FSHD developed Ethel R. Lawrence Homes, Phases I & II (140 units), Mount Laurel Township, Burlington County. Evans-Francis Estates at Short Hills Farm, Cherry Hill Township, Camden County (54 units) was planned for development in 2010, but is currently in litigation with the Township’s Planning Board regarding development approvals.

 

In addition, Fair Share Housing Development is slated to develop another five affordable housing developments in suburban New Jersey in the next several years, including a 24-unit single-family development for families in Mount Laurel; a 36-unit addition to Ethel Lawrence Homes; a 184-unit senior/assisted-living development, also in Mount Laurel; a 76-unit development for the elderly in Cherry Hill at the site of the former Garden State Racetrack; and a 100-unit family rental development in Woolwich Township.

 

FSHD’s work receives crucial support from and lends support to several other organizations. FSHD’s most longstanding partner, the Fair Share Housing Center, was founded in 1975 and continues to support the work of FSHD by providing legal and technical expertise and, when needed, the ability to litigate to circumvent the many obstacles and overcome the resistance that affordable housing has elicited in suburban communities.

 

FSHD also plays an important role in the City of Camden and in the region surrounding Camden. Inside Camden, FSHD serves the role of a traditional community development corporation, and its employees there participate in civic activities with other organizations.

 

FSHD Executive Director Peter O’Connor himself was long involved with other organizations in Camden and he served in a volunteer capacity for more than a decade as the Chairman of the Holy Name of Camden, a neighborhood-based organization that includes a church, school, law office, medical clinic and family counseling program. He was also the Chairman of the Catholic Camden Diocese’s Housing Development Corporation, which develops primarily senior affordable housing in the six most southern counties of New Jersey.

 

FSHD has a very visible presence in the region and is a strong voice in support of affordable housing development outside of areas of entrenched poverty. Several other for-profit and nonprofit entities are involved in developing affordable housing in suburban South Jersey, but no other entity has FSHD’s record or commitment to the development of affordable housing that promotes regional mobility for residents of the City of Camden and strives to reach very low-income households.

 

Peter J. O’Connor, who died in 1988, long fought for social justice. O’Connor arrived in Southern New Jersey following his graduation from Georgetown University Law Center. His work as a Legal Services attorney involved law reform efforts in landlord-tenant, consumer, housing, mental health, and state/federal civil rights law.

 

As the lead counsel in the Camden Coalition litigation in 1970 to 1972, O’Connor challenged the City of Camden’s “urban revitalization” and highway construction efforts that caused massive displacement of Camden residents. O’Connor’s efforts gave rise to a White House campaign spearheaded by Vice President Spiro Agnew to limit the activities of federally-funded Legal Service programs.

 

In May 1971, O’Connor and two other Legal Services attorneys, Carl S. Bisgaier and Ken Meiser, filed suit on behalf of individual plaintiffs and the NAACP to challenge suburban Mount Laurel Township’s refusal to permit affordable housing in Mount Laurel. That case, Southern Burlington County NAACP v. Mount Laurel, was appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1975, and again in 1983, and led to the first requirement in the nation that all municipalities provide for their fair share of the region’s need for affordable housing.

 

In 1985, the Legislature passed the Fair Housing Act, which created the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing, an executive agency empowered to ensure compliance by New Jersey municipalities with their Mount Laurel obligations. Since COAH’s creation, over 59,000 units of affordable housing have been constructed in New Jersey.

 

Over four decades after he started working in South Jersey, O’Connor’s interests in urban deterioration, affordable housing, and regional equity continued . From 1978 to 1980, O’Connor spearheaded the construction of the 402-unit Northgate II development in North Camden, a project that formed part of the settlement of Camden Coalition lawsuit. The complex has on-site management, maintenance and security staff and also provides social and recreational services.

 

In 1983, O’Connor worked in suburban Deptford Township developing New Sharon Woods, a 50-unit affordable housing development for families. In 1986, O’Connor developed Pennsville Towers, a 100-unit affordable housing project for seniors. He also has worked on rehabilitating houses in North Camden.

 

In 1995, O’Connor completed a historic rehabilitation project he envisioned in the Cooper Plaza Neighborhood of Camden. The 64-unit project, Cooper Plaza Historic Homes, adjoins Cooper Hospital and has received national and statewide attention in view of the successful historic rehabilitation of it and ongoing management and stabilizing effect in the area.

 

Most recently, O’Connor’s work focused on advocating for and constructing long-awaited affordable housing for moderate-income, low-income, and very-poor families and seniors in Mount Laurel and Cherry Hill. In Mount Laurel, Fair Share Housing Development built and manages Ethel R. Lawrence Homes, a 140-unit rental development that is named in honor of the lead individual plaintiff in the landmark Mount Laurel litigation.

 

That 62-acre development, which received the Governor’s Housing Excellence Award in 2001, represents the culmination of three decades of work to construct truly affordable housing in a municipality whose resistance to it has become infamous. Social, educational, and recreational services are provided to the residents of the development, which include families making from 10- to 80-percent of median income, a range of affordability with a depth and breadth previously unknown to suburban New Jersey.

 

On March 29, 2006, the court approved an agreement with Mount Laurel Township whereby the Township agreed to provide pre-development funds and capital grants to assist Fair Share Housing Development in the development of an Outdoor Recreation Area, Indoor Recreation Area and Education Center adjacent to Ethel R. Lawrence Homes.

Ethel R. Lawrence Homes, which opened in Winter 2000 and has received extensive local and national media attention, was dedicated in Summer 2002. Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, spoke at the Dedication. In a demonstration of the significance of the project from a civil rights standpoint, the names of the 40 people who were killed during the Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) were read from the stage by the plaintiffs, ending with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Fair Share Housing Development is slated to develop another four affordable housing developments in suburban New Jersey in the next several years, including, a 24-unit single family development for families in Mount Laurel, a 184-unit senior/assisted living development in Mount Laurel, a 76-unit development for the elderly in Cherry Hill, at the site of the former Garden State Racetrack and a 100-unit family rental development in Woolwich Township, the fastest growing municipality on the East Coast according to 2004 Census figures.

 

In addition to putting shovels in the dirt, O’Connor assisted the fight for fair housing rights in New Jersey courtrooms. As the founder and former Executive Director of Fair Share Housing Center, O’Connor served a s part of the team of FSHC lawyers representing the original Mount Laurel plaintiffs in litigation against Mount Laurel and Cherry Hill Townships which has forced those municipalities to provide for their fair share obligations.

 

O’Connor represented the plaintiffs in litigation against the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency for its perpetuation of racial and economic segregation through the use of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the first case of its kind in the nation; and against a corporation that attempted to redevelop the former Garden State Racetrack in Cherry Hill without providing any affordable housing on-site, a case on which the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2002 released a unanimous decision in favor of the plaintiffs after it took the case on interlocutory appeal directly from the trial court. Additionally, O’Connor succeeded in negotiating a settlement with Woolwich Township that will result in 100 units of housing for families, including very-low income families.

 

O’Connor’s legacy of development and advocacy interests continues to focus on reducing the concentration of poverty in the inner cities of New Jersey, fighting racial segregation in housing and public schools, and working to develop high quality affordable housing in a state with the second highest rental housing costs in the nation. NJ also remains one of the country’s more segregated states.

 

The effort of the Mount Laurel plaintiffs, O’Connor, and others to provide regional affordable housing opportunities is the subject of Our Town: Race, Housing and the Soul of Suburbia, by David L. Kirp, John P. Dwyer, Larry A. Rosenthal of the University of California at Berkeley.

 

O’Connor was also a professor at the Fordham University School of Law in the Bronx, N.Y. He graduated from Fordham in 1951 and from its law school in 1956. He earned a master’s degree in law from Harvard Law School in 1957.  Earlier he had been an assistant district attorney and chief of appeals in Queens County, from 1967 to 1970, and an assistant district attorney in Manhattan under District Attorney Frank Hogan, from 1957 to 1962.

 

At least, that’s how the social justice activist judges and attorneys saw it. The city of South Brunswick didn’t share FSHD’s “idealistic” vision of social engineering.

 

In an article in the The Observor on April 7, 2017, reporter Salvador Rizzo noted the seemier side of judicial activism:

 

Things are getting personal in the seemingly endless legal fight over how much affordable housing to build in New Jersey.

 

After South Brunswick lost a court case seeking to tamp down its affordable housing obligations, the township’s attorney, Jeffrey Surenian, filed court papers last week attacking the judge who issued the ruling.

 

The allegation is that former Superior Court Judge Douglas Wolfson had a conflict of interest because earlier in his career Wolfson represented and befriended a developer, Jack Morris of Edgewood Properties, who allegedly stood to benefit financially from Wolfson’s rulings last year calling for more affordable housing units to be built than some towns wanted.

 

Surenian added that Wolfson’s son worked at a law firm owned by Morris’s wife while the housing rulings were coming down, and that when the judge retired in December he went to work as general counsel at Edgewood Properties. The judge “brazenly violated” the judiciary’s core values, South Brunswick alleged in a March 28 court filing, asking that Wolfson’s housing rulings be vacated.

 

Attorneys on the other side of the issue called Surenian’s allegations a baseless attack from a lawyer who often loses affordable housing cases. Surenian regularly appears before state courts representing towns that in some form or another are seeking to dial down the amount of low-cost housing they are required to zone for. In recent years, Surenian has lost repeatedly at the trial courts and in the handful of cases that have reached the state Supreme Court.

 

The Fair Share Housing Center, a nonprofit that represents poor and middle class families in housing cases by designation of the courts, filed papers noting that Morris and Edgewood Properties had no involvement in the South Brunswick case.

 

“There is no rule or court decision in New Jersey that provides that a judge who is hearing a lawsuit involving Developers 1-5 must recuse from the lawsuit because the judge is friends with Developer 6,” Kevin Walsh, the lead attorney at Fair Share, argued in a court filing.

 

“A friendship with a developer does not preclude a judge from being involved in any lawsuits simply because other developers are involved,” Walsh wrote.

 

Walsh added that “Judge Wolfson’s career as an attorney who represented developers was known by all involved in the matter.”

 

Surenian argued that even if Edgewood Properties was not a party to the case, it nonetheless stood to benefit from Wolfson’s rulings since they would expand the opportunity for all developers to build low-cost homes in Middlesex County. But Surenian noted that Wolfson recused himself from hearing cases that involved Edgewood Properties directly.

 

Wolfson, who is married to U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson, said Friday he could not comment on specific cases he heard as a judge.

 

But he said “it is a matter of public record … that I disclosed to the court-appointed special masters and all counsel my relationship with Mr. Morris, and in fact recused myself from several cases in which he or any of his companies were adverse to either to the town or to any of the other potentially competing builder/intervenors who sought to gain a favorable rezoning through the litigation process.”

 

“Since my opinions in this case must speak for themselves, I can only urge you to read them yourself so as to gain a complete and unbiased understanding of what has actually transpired in this case since July of 2015, and to judge for yourself what the motivation is for this belated filing,” Wolfson added.

 

It’s not clear that South Brunswick would get a better outcome under a different judge. The state Supreme Court last year issued a major ruling settling some of the same affordable housing questions, and not in the township’s favor.

 

According to Assemblywoman Schepisi, who spoke at the North Jersey Regional Tea Party meeting recently, five days after Judge Wolfson stepped down, he joined the plaintiff’s legal team.

 

Schepisis describes the New Jersey legislature as “complacent.” They fear battling the racially-oriented Fair Share Housing Center  and Fair Share Housing Development.  Municipalities fear developer-remedy lawsuits.  Towns are caught in a trap in which they must either accept 100 percent affordable housing, which is unpopular with most voters, or accept it in increments at about a 1 to 5 ratio.

 

Developers are anxious to build market-rate housing. For the opportunity to build high-density housing, with a 50-year property tax break sweetener thrown in, they’ll set a side certain, small number of units to meet the affordable housing requirement.  However, the population increase in general sets the town back further on its affordable housing requirement, opening the town up to even more incursions by developers, zoning planners and their attorneys.

 

North Jersey Tea Party members wanted to know just exactly who the developers envision occupying the market-rate housing, when residents are fleeing the state. As native New Jerseyans are fleeing the Garden State, its high property taxes, and onerous business climate, Long Islanders are trying to flee the island.

 

The developers are targeting residents on Long Island who work in New York City and Millennials who would like to live in the City but can’t afford the unbelievable rents. I used to work for State Farm Insurance as an internal public affairs writer.  Long Island was my “beat.”  Workers there told me – some ten years ago now – that the middle class was being squeezed off the Island.

 

Eastern Long Island is the abode of the rich, famous and wealthy.  Western Long Island is increasingly the receptacle of the poverty and crime spreading out from the city.  With their poverty, these Section 8 and Affordable Housing residents and families bring crime, drugs, and lower property values, along with higher taxes for the social services they require, including special education.

 

There is no haven for the middle class on the northern and southern shores of Long Island:  the North Shore has long been the abode of Old Money (i.e., Theodore Roosevelt) and the South Shore has become the new Gold Coast.  Middle class and upper Middle Class residents and families have no place to go.  These are the residents – and their progeny – whom the developers are targeting.

 

Long Island’s middle class is basically squeezed into the center of the island, on either side of the county line. Housing is tight, increasingly more expensive and crowded.  Thanks to all those wealthy finance brokers and summer celebrities, Long Island’s cost of living is skyrocketing.

 

In the last 15 to 20 years, minorities from New York City have overwhelmed Nassau County are slowly encroaching on Suffolk County to the east. Uniondale (55.5% Black), (Westbury, 23% Black, 19% Hispanic) in central Nassau County are, or nearly are, minority-majority cities.

 

But in addition to the problems of crime, once you get out into Suffolk County, commuters are looking at a longer, more expensive trek into the city whether by car, train, or less likely, by bus.  The North and South Shores of Long Island are like Eastern Long Island, the abode of the wealthy.  The North Shore has historically been the seat of Old Money; the South Shore is wall-to-wall new mansions lined up cheek-by-by jowl along every inch of the shoreline and far inland.  Villages on Long Island are part of larger, incorporated townships, with new, sustainably narrow roads that are designed to discourage the use of automobiles in favor of mass transit.

 

Long Islanders are essentially city people.  They have no problem living in rental units in close proximity to one another.  They are also, as I noted, Democrats.  Eventually, between the very rich (by northern New Jersey standards) and the poor, the vote will be flipped.  What is left of Conservative Republicans will disappear by their target year of 2050.  Bergen County is already nearly totally blue.  I’m surprised you were able to win election in Bergen County.  But even they have woken up and realize their quiet lifestyle is in danger from such vulnerable towns as Paramus.

 

Thus, Long Islanders are turning their weary eyes to forested hills of New Jersey. Passaic County is well within the acceptable commuting distance of New York City.  Young Long Islanders, in particular, who have no desire (yet) to own a home or the time or money to maintain one, are eager to move into our unsightly, towering condos.  In Bergen, a high-rise tower is being planned for the center of Paramus, the assemblywoman told us.

 

Avalon Bay, just as an example, offers every amenity to the newly-transplanted Long Islander. Swimming pools, saunas, fine restaurants.  According to Assemblywoman Schepisi, the affordable housing dwellers are set off to one side and do not have such privileges as the use of the swimming pool.

 

Bloomingdale, where I grew up has been an early advocate of sustainable development.  Like nearly every other town in northern New Jersey, they officially signed on to the Sustainable Development creed in 2009. So has Riverdale, in Morris County.  Pompton Lakes, where I live, is on schedule to complete an even more ambitious plan for “affordable housing” along its main business route, Wanaque Avenue, by 2020.  Their plan is to build five-story rental apartment buildings along Wanaque Avenue, completely changing the nature of the town along the lines of Montclair.

 

Pompton Lakes also plans to narrow – not widen – but narrow Wanaque Avenue to follow the Sustainable Development plan of discouraging the use of automobiles.  Towns on Long Island have already redeveloped their business districts in this way and let me tell you, it’s a nightmare.

 

The residents of Bloomingdale woke up too late to the fact that their town was being remodeled.  The area where Avalon Bay is located used to be a shooting range and an illegal garbage dump.  The EPA used this fact to have the property condemned as an “urban blight zone” and then redesignate it for multiple dwellings.  Our friend, David, came up north from Texas to attend his daughter’s college graduation.

 

I had to honor of giving him a tour of an area he hasn’t seen much of since he graduated high school in 1973. He was horrified when he was Avalon Bay. When I warned him about “development” he thought I was talking about some houses along Union Avenue. I pointed skyward and then he saw the Monstrosity of Union Avenue – with more plans in the works for the now-demolished Federal Hill area.

 

Northern Passaic County district, has been a leafy haven for drug gangs.  Wanaque has had problems with MS-13 for going on 20 years.  They are at the hub of what has become known as the “Heroin Trail” running north from Pequannock, through Riverdale and on up into Ringwood and West Milford, where the meth factories are located.

 

The drug pedalers/peddlers (they make their runs on bicycles) board the northbound 197 up into Ringwood in the morning and return in the evening to make their “deliveries” all night long until the police shift change at 8 a.m.  I’ve seen them.  They leave markers or portkeys, just as the old Soviet spies used to do, to indicate where the customers can pick up their drugs.  The dealers hide their goods in take-out bags.  The customers pull up, make the exchange.  The dealer pedals off and the buyers take out the drugs and throw the fast food out the car window and drive off.

 

The assemblywoman made note of the Liberals’ hypocritical oversight of infrastructure problems, particularly water.  At a time when it is predicted that New Jersey will not have enough water for all its residents (no matter how many water towers they build), they advocate building affordable housing complexes that encourage even more use of water through air conditioning and swimming pools.

 

The Suburban Trends, our local newspaper, readily publishes the news about a critical overuse of water, yet they write nothing about the demand on water consumption these affordable housing units will create.

 

As for social services, our volunteer emergency responders are already overtasked.  I bought a police band radio to find out what was really going on in our area, because we certainly can’t depend upon our local newspaper (a bi-weekly) to tell us.  What I’ve discovered is that on emergency medical calls, it can take up to 20 minutes just to find a driver for the ambulance before they can respond to the emergency.  I have a 93 year-old mother.  I’ve told my brothers that, on the weekdays at least, don’t bother waiting for the ambulance – just go.

 

Illegal immigration is nothing new to our area – the illegals have been here for 20 to 30 years and in that time, the incidents in crime have gone up, especially at the stores on Route 23.  Criminals have held up the local Target store as well as our fast-food restaurants.  The incidents in stolen cars have also risen, as well as drug overdoses and suicide attempts.

 

The goal of “Sustainable Development” is an attempt to eliminate property ownership and force residents into communal living warehouses.  It is a decidedly Marxist goal.  In Russia and China, citizens do not own property.  They don’t even own the units they live in; their heirs cannot inherit these units.  They are returned to the state.

 

I live in a condo myself, one that was converted from a garden apartment in the 1980s.  I could not afford the price of a house or the maintenance of one.  As I’m single with no children, I’m content.  But I can tell anyone who is not living this lifestyle, it’s not exactly the propaganda brochure the Left paints.  For one thing, Pompton Lakes’ taxes are so exorbitant, thanks to the school tax that I pay almost as much in taxes as my companion who lives in a house with property in Pompton Plains across the highway.

 

We need to give this issue as much publicity as possible.  I don’t have a problem with people who want to live in a city or are nervous about owning a house.  This is America; you should live where you want to.  However, I don’t believe developers have an inalienable right to simply buy up a town and place high-density multiple dwellings in the midst of a quiet suburb filled with people who moved to that suburb precisely because they did NOT want to live in a city, big, small or otherwise.

 

More and more suburbanites are waking up to the dangers that Affordable Housing poses. Our way of life is under attack. We need to send a message to the social activist Judge LaVecchia that we thank her for her sneering “permission” to try to turn back the Affordable Housing mandate.  The Legislature, however, is not under any mandate to affirm her grossly unconstitutional reading of the state constitution and will her activism into reality.

 

She can accuse any of us or all of us of racism. But we can counter with a more pernicious accusation:  communism.

 

It’s her way or the highway? Her imposing judgment and Avalon Bay are precisely what Communism looks like.

 

 

Published in: on May 26, 2017 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment