Saturday, May 26, 2007


All gave some. Some gave all.

And they continue to do so.
One year ago, our Memorial Day Weekend post was as follows:

Memorial Day Weekend: What many consider the beginning of summer. The sweet aroma of barbecuin' fills the balmy Monmouth County air, as people make their way to the beach, barbecue or sale. The highways and byways of Olde Monmouth become packed with bennies bound for the shore.
As you read this, think. Think about how it became possible to go to the sales, the barbecues or the beaches. How it is possible for you to even read this and many other blogs.
In short: Love your freedom? Thank a servicemember.
But Abe, but Abe, you say, I'm so busy this weekend I can't get to any of the ceremonies.
No problem. There are other ways every bit as appropriate. When you have a moment, stop at a local cemetery. It doesn't have to be Arlington, right here in Monmouth County rest veterans of every war. Find a veteran's grave; they'll have flags on them. Then just take a moment to think about this individual's sacrifice and contribution and just say "thanks." He may have been with Washington's troops at the Battle of Monmouth, in the Long War on Terror, or any conflict in between, but pay your respects. These service men and women deserve it!
Maybe a loved one was lost to the ravages of war. Take out that family album, and maybe, as you enjoy a family barbecue, remember and celebrate the life of that person.
Our war dead gave their life for us; they did not die in vain. They live on in our freedom as Americans. Be proud of them, and let's make them proud of us!
Last year's post is every bit as appropriate this year, but I must add some thoughts. Thoughts which are very disturbing, but must be said.
The enemy is among us.
That enemy can be overt, like the evil Fort Dix 6. Their sinister attack plot was to take place just outside of Monmouth County, less than an hour from Freehold. Just imagine if the clerk at the Mt. Laurel Circuit City had not alerted the authorities, or if the terrorists had opted to burn their own DVD. Now imagine if they had chosen a target other than Fort Dix; say Freehold Raceway Mall or Downtown Red Bank.
Our enemy can be more covert, too.
A number of politicians, mainly liberal Democrats like John al Kerry and Harry bin Reid, have called for the withdrawal of U. S. troops from Iraq; some have included Afghanistan in their call as well. Without a plan for victory or securing the countries after our troops leave, this amounts to surrender.
Talk of surrender in any synonym, in turn, serves not only to destroy the morale of our fighting men and women uniform, it also serves to embolden thugs like the Fort Dix 6.
Result? More terrorism on our shores.
This was just a few thoughts to consider this weekend. Remember our servicemen and women, living and dead, past and present.

Monday, May 14, 2007


"...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
...Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

"Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. Individuals or private corporations shall not be authorized to take private property for public use without just compensation first made to the owners."
Article 1, Section 20 of the
New Jersey State Constitution .

There's eminent domain, and there's eminent domain abuse. What's the difference?
A lot.
Eminent domain was addressed by the Founding Fathers for the specific reason that they wished to limit the power of government. They had just become independent of the dictatorial King George III's United Kingdom, and wanted to prevent any repeat of that nightmare.
The Founders worded this very carefully. Public use specifically meant roads, bridges, parks, schools and other public buildings. It did not mean taking a farmer's land and modest home so a wealthy planter could build a plantation, no matter how well-connected the planter. The Founders specifically wanted to protect the private property owner from siezure by government for the benefit of some lord or baron, as was a problem under the British regime.
Here in Monmouth County, the City of Long Branch under the administration of Democratic Mayor Adam Schneider is the No. 1 poster child for eminent domain abuse, but the issue has reared its ugly head in other towns as well. That list can grow much longer when you include such below-the-radar abuses as using the threat of eminent domain to force an owner to negotiate. With such a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, many owners feel they have no choice but to sell.
Some municipalities have brought the debate to the local level, as in Neptune Township Committeeman Tom Catley's proposal to limit the use of eminent domain in his township's redevelopment program.
That eminent domain is for public improvements is true, but the rampant abuse on behalf of developers has given the process a bad name, even when used in its legitimate application.
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders plan to replace Hubbard's Bridge, which carries West Front Street across the Navesink River between Middletown and Red Bank. The design calls for the aquisition of private property for the bridge approach.
One of the owners in question is Pat Walsh, who has filed as a Democrat for assembly in the 13th District, specifically targeting Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R - 13th). One of her issues is eminent domain abuse, even though the county's application of eminent domain here would clearly fall under legitimate use. Ironically, Walsh finds herself in the same party as Mayor Schneider and other eminent domain true - believers. That must make for some very interesting Democratic dinners. That aside, she would hardly be an effective legislative voice against eminent domain abuse. Nearly two years after the U. S. Supreme Court's Kelo v New London decision, some states have enacted reforms; New Jersey's moribund reforms continue to languish in the Democratic - controlled Legislature. In other words, if the Democrats wanted to reform eminent domain and protect homeowners from the big developers, they would have long since enacted the reforms.
They haven't and that's telling.

Dino's Forum has an interesting post on this issue.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


With the recent controversy about Democratic Monmouth County Tax Board Commissioner Annie W. Grant's sense of entitlement about her publicly-funded junkets, we must take a look at the County Democrats and their attitudes towards public service.
There are several incidents that are, I believe, telling.
Let's first go back to Operation Bid-Rig. A number of elected and appointed officials of both parties were busted for various corrupt activities. Then - GOP County Chairman Frederick P. Niemann immediately called for the resignations of the corrupt officials. This blog has been critical of Niemann, but he got that one right. If a Republican falls into corruption, the initial reaction of the rank and file may be shock and disbelief; that is swiftly followed by outrage and revulsion that such an individual was among us.
What did County Democratic Boss Victor Scudiery do? Rather than express outrage at the blatant betrayal of the public trust, Ol' Vic accused the office of U. S. Attorney Christopher Christie of entrapment! Typically, the Dems will circle the wagons.
This happened recently with the indictment of Sen. Wayne R. Bryant (D - Camden). Long a poster child for the corrupt culture of bottom - feeders in Trenton, Bryant's indictment touched off a firestorm of accusations of partisanship against Christie by several liberal Jersey bloggers. Circling the wagons.
Back to the Tax Board.
John E. Westlake, another Democratic appointee on the Board, pleaded guilty last September to failure to declare $350,000.00 on his federal taxes. He's gone away. And Grant has her junketeering problem. She should go away.
The Tax Board is a gubernatorial appointment. For you Democrats, that means the governor makes the appointment. The Board is to be divided between Democrats and Republicans. As is customary, appointees are recommended by their respective county chairman. That means that Scudiery would have had to recommend both Westlake and Grant. Grant was also an unsuccessful candidate for Monmouth County Clerk.
The Democrats do not have many appointments available to them here in Monmouth County. One would think that they would make every effort not to screw up. With two (So far!) such appointees on one important board, this should give pause to every taxpayer and voter in Monmouth County. Is this the type of individual that the Democrats would appoint should they take control of the Board of Chosen Freeholders? Well? Is it?