Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, September 21, 2012

Love the Prophet Day

Love the Prophet Day


Tolerating an intolerant religion certainly poses its challenges.  Protests over a crude, amateurish video produced in California has spread, thanks to Media exploitation and the exhortations of mullahs around the world, to Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Kashmir, Malaysia, Tunisia, and France, which has closed its international schools and 22 of its embassies.


According to Reuters, tens of thousands of Pakistanis joined protests encouraged by the government in several cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, Multan and Muzaffarabad.


The bloodiest unrest erupted in the southern city of Karachi, where three policemen and two protesters were killed and 112 people wounded, according to Allah Bachayo Memon, spokesman of the chief minister of Sindh province. He said about 20 vehicles, three banks and five cinemas were set on fire.


Crowds set two cinemas ablaze and ransacked shops in the northwestern city of Peshawar, clashing with riot police who fired tear gas. At least five protesters were hurt and the ARY television station said an employee had been killed.


Muslims take exception to the portrayal of their prophet, Mohammed, in any form, but particularly showing him in satire.   The Muslim is particularly suspicious of movie theaters; they were banned in Iran.  In fact, Saudi Arabia bans a whole host of damaging Western influences from alcohol to dolls.


This was yesterday’s State Department warning for travel to Pakistan:


The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated August 27, 2012, to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan.

Protests have taken place across Pakistan against the United States, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and NATO. There have also been widespread demonstrations and large political rallies condemning drone strikes, Pakistan's ongoing energy crisis, and Pakistan's July 3, 2012, decision to reopen NATO transit routes to Afghanistan. These protests and demonstrations are likely to continue. U.S. citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid protests and large gatherings


No word about the anti-prophet video.  However:


Saudi authorities do not permit criticism of Islam or the royal family. The government prohibits the public practice of religions other than Islam. Non-Muslims suspected of violating these restrictions have been jailed. Homosexual activity and adultery are considered to be criminal offenses and those convicted may be sentenced to lashing, prison, or death.


Saudi customs and postal officials broadly define what is contrary to Islam and therefore prohibited. Christmas decorations, fashion magazines, and "suggestive" videos may be confiscated and the owner subject to penalties and fines. Electronic devices may be subjected to inspection upon entry or exit.

According to Reuters and the Muslim News website:

The world Islamic body signaled on Wednesday that it will revive long-standing attempts to make insults against religions an international criminal offense.  But it appears unlikely to win acceptance from Western countries determined to resist restrictions on freedom of speech and already concerned about the repressive effect of blasphemy laws in Muslim countries such as Pakistan.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the international community should “come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression,” a reference to Western arguments against a universal blasphemy law that the OIC has sought for over a decade.

He said the "deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse of this freedom" was a danger to global security and stability.

Separately, the Human Rights Commission of the OIC, which has 57 members and is based in Saudi Arabia, said, “growing intolerance towards Muslims” had to be checked and called for “an international code of conduct for media and social media to disallow the dissemination of incitement material.”

Western countries have long argued that such measures would run counter to the UN's core human rights declaration on freedom of expression and could even open the door to curbs on academic research.

As if to underline the point, a conference in Geneva of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which groups the world's major Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical churches, urged Pakistan to abolish its blasphemy law, which carries a possible death penalty.

Critics say the law is widely misused to persecute non-Muslims, and cite this month's case of a Muslim cleric detained on suspicion of planting evidence suggesting that a 14-year-old girl had burned Islamic religious texts.

Pakistani Christians and Hindus at the WCC gathering said a global
law against blasphemy, or “defamation of religion,” would only endorse on an international scale the religious intolerance seen in Pakistan and in other Islamic countries.

But Western countries have also come under criticism for stifling free speech, with Iran previously highlighting the criminalization of doubting the Holocaust in a number of Western states.

The State Department has officially denounced the video, but also condemned the violent reaction to the video.   Obama, the Idiot-in-Chief, compared their protests and their revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“None but infidels gainsay the signs of Allah:  but let not their prosperity in the land deceive thee.

“The people of Noah, and the confederates after them, have brought the charge of imposture before these Meccans; each nation schemed against the apostle to lay violent hold on him and disputed with vain words to refute the truth.  Therefore did I lay violent hold on them; and how great was my chastisement!” The Koran: Sura 40.

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book:  If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in the book.

“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19.

Mocking someone else’s religion probably isn’t a very nice thing to do.  Criticizing it or rejecting it is another matter.  Where will the blade of Islam’s blasphemy laws fall?  In the most radical of the countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, the penalty is death to speak against the Prophet, much less make a crude drawing of him.

There are fools who mock Jesus, even today.  He would not want anyone to retaliate with violence or hatred, but forgive the fools.  The countries of Mohammed boldly display the sword on their flags and crests. 

Protestors in the Middle East have not been showing a lot of love for the West these days; their demonstrations illustrate why East will never meet West.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blinded by the Blind Sheikh

If you had asked me eleven years ago why the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked on 9/11/01, and why the Capitol was the probable destination of Flight 93, I would have told you, “The Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman.”

Living in northern New Jersey, we residents here regard the George Washington Bridge as “our bridge”.  Well, we share with New York, but it’s our main landmark.  We take great offense at anyone who would try to damage it and kill the millions of motorists who cross it every year.

The New York Post, Fox News, and Rep. Peter King (N.Y) have all confirmed, through anonymous, high-level sources, what Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network reported weeks ago, and the State and Justice Departments have vigorously denied:  that negotiations are going on between the U.S. and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president to release Omar Abdel-Rahman, “The Blind Shiekh”, from prison in North Carolina after the election in November.

Andrew McCarthy, the former federal prosecutor who put the Blind Sheikh behind bars notes in his book (which I ran right out and bought as soon as it was published), “Willful Blindness,”:  “After all, Osama Bin Laden credits Abdel Rahman with having issued the fatwa approving the 9/11 attacks, the most horrific acts of terrorism in American history, direct from the federal penitentiary I helped put him in.”

Rahman, McCarthy tells us, urged his followers to “turn your gun(s) on Mubarak” then president of Egypt – a loyal dog to the American government.  What the terrorists came to call the “Landmarks Plot” (they’d also played with the title, “Day of Terror” and “Ring of Fire”) involved 12 bombs to be set off more or less simultaneously.  Fortunately, the FBI and JTTF had an informant in the person of Emad Salem.  One of the targets was the World Trade Center.

McCarthy tells us, “The terrorists were not about a single bombing or bomb campaign.  Their leader, the Blind Sheikh, was pressing for jihad [as opposed to ‘talk, talk, talk’] aimed at fulfilling religious duties to punish the United States for interfering in the affairs of Muslim countries and to establish Allah’s law in  America, as well as anyplace else where it did not reign supreme.”

Ramzi Yousef (Abdul Basit) was allowed to enter the United States in spite of some obvious clues that he was a terrorist.   The federal government only traced their tracks after the bombing, however, by which time Yousef had safely left America, unhindered. 

Just before the bombing, McCarthy tells us that Rahman addressed an Islamic conference thus, “[W]e must be terrorists and we must terrorize the enemies of Islam and frighten them and disturb them and shake the earth under their feet.”

Realizing their error in admitting Rahman, the U.S. government tried unsuccessfully to deport him.  Meanwhile, although the original World Trade Center plot had failed, the terrorists were undeterred and were proceeding with their plans for the Landmarks Plot.  Salem informed the FBI and JTTF of what was about to happen and they were arrested in the Jersey City garage where they were making the bombs.  Among the evidence was a tape of the Blind Sheikh being driven through the Holland Tunnel, determining the best spot to detonate the device.

It was on these grounds that the Rahman was arrested and convicted.  The charges of the World Trade Center bombing were added later.  The terrorists found the GW Bridge a difficult target.  They consulted engineers who told them that because it was a suspension bridge, the only way to take it down was from the center column, which is very odd because there’s no “center column” on the bridge, only its east and west towers.  In any case, they didn’t have the knowledge at the time to do it and McCarthy notes that there wasn’t enough concrete evidence to charge the defendants with trying to blow up the bridge.

Still the bridge represented them with a religious motivation – the As-Sirat, the bridge to paradise, thin as a hair and sharp as a knife from which non-believers would fall into the fires of hell.  Buildings and tunnels represent easier targets.

Ramzi Yousef was finally caught and put in jail with the Blind Sheikh and his uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, took up his cause.  KSM was intrigued by the dramatic notion of hijacking airplanes and plowing them into skyscrapers.  Osama Bin Laden, an associate of the Blind Sheikh’s, was willing to underwrite the operation, and they found willing suicide bombers through Al Qaeda, including Mohammed Atta, who held an architectural grudge against the box-like Twin Towers in New York City.  Like the Blind Sheikh, he was also Egyptian.

Atta arrived in the Northeast in May of 2000.  The reason I know that is because my family and I (and many other residents of our area) saw him in Bloomingdale at a local gas station run by a Turkish Muslim.  There was no mistaking that face.  He was staying at the Wayne Inn on Rt. 23, traveling back and forth between his hotel, the city of Paterson, William Paterson University in Wayne, and we think Greenwood Lake Airport (or possibly the even more remote Hilltop Airport), to fly around in a small airplane to get the lay of this part of the land.

About that same time, I was promoted to a job in my company’s Public Relations department as a reporter and erstwhile photographer.  In early September 2001, my assignment was to photograph one of our agents in Fort Lee.  At the time, our company was using a “landmark” theme of its own, to identify agents with large cities.  I thought the George Washington Bridge would make an ideal landmark background (in addition to the usual office shots my boss always insisted upon as back up).

I decided to check out the location before picking up the agent.  However, I didn’t know where I was going and turned right instead of left.  Instead of being above the bridge, I was under it.  But being a windy day, and seeing what fine backdrop the bridges supports made, I decided this was the spot.  I was under pressure from my boss and the head photographer to take “beauty” shots.

The insurance agent told me how the FBI had made raids on storefront mosques only the week before.  I didn’t tell him about the unusual scene when I first turned onto the rutted road, about the group of construction workers who did a crazy Keystone Kops routine when I turned onto the road or about the municipal pick-up truck with New York plates that tried to honk me away from where I had stopped under the bridge.

As I took his picture, with his back to the bridge, he couldn’t see the highly unusual behavior displayed by one of the construction workers.  Nor did he know that I returned to the bridge a third time to get the stock photos my boss would inevitably want and witnessed even more unusual behavior and saw one very familiar and frightening face.  I might have called the police only I suspected they were already there and that I had stumbled upon something I wasn’t supposed to see.  Nothing illegal, I suspected; just very, very stupid.

My guess was the next Tuesday - September 11th.  That was the bridge’s busiest, inbound day when trucks would be making their deliveries to the city and Long Island.  Only the terrorists ran off when they saw my camera.  Maybe it wouldn’t happen, after all.  However, 9/11 did happen and when first reports came out of an aborted attack on the bridge (which law enforcement later disclaimed), I thought I was going to be sick.  And I didn’t even have the developed pictures back yet.  The developer delivered them personally the next day, giving me a very stern look.

Ironically, just moments before and during the attack, seven of my co-workers were stuck on the bridge, and my boss and I were having an incredibly passionate argument (a continuation from the afternoon before, in which I broke down crying most unprofessionally) about whether to use the office photos or the bridge photos.  I argued that we might not have another chance to use them.

Now I had the photos – but it was too late, at least for the Twin Towers.  As I’d stood watching what was happening on the bridge a week earlier, three figures were engaged in an animated discussion – one gesticulating wildly, one standing silent, and the third, a very tall man, the familiar one, nodding avuncularly.  The gesticulator waved up at me (I was observing them through my telephoto lens), and the other two looked up.  I had my finger on the shutter button.  But this was a film camera and I was about to take an unmistakable close-up shot, one that I would own.  I’d never be able to get it developed without impossible trouble of one sort or another.  For all I knew, those guys down there were armed, and I was alone on a deserted road.

I withheld from taking the close-up shot and opted instead for long shots that could be enlarged later from the negatives, if whoever took possession of them wanted to know more.  I knew exactly what had happened and why more targets weren’t hit.  The gesticulator and his boss thought the agent and I were an FBI agent and a reporter.  They decided to take the cautious route and call it off.  The third man, the stern silent one, knew perfectly well I wasn’t an agent or a reporter.  His contact in Bloomingdale knew my whole family.  He had our credit information.

If I said nothing, neither did he.  He never bothered to tell his cohorts, and the 30 or 40 thugs with them that there was no danger of a raid.  The tall guy said something and he nodded.  They knelt down on the girding in prayer, then they all ran like cockroaches.  The tall guy was the last to leave.  Atta went on to do his evil deed, much to the amazement of KSM and Osama Bin Laden.  It wasn’t that he was “braver”; he just knew something they didn’t.  Eventually, I found a way to turn the photos (and the negatives) over to the authorities.

Two of the leaders are dead (at least we assume they are).  The third is awaiting trial, and their Islamic guru is in jail.  Now we learn that the U.S. government is in negotiations with the Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian government to release the Blind Sheikh, on humanitarian grounds.  What will stop the government from releasing KSM on similar grounds, especially if he argues that he’s been arrested for a terrorist act in which he never actually participated, in spite of his own admission?

These men should not – cannot be released.  The Obama Administration is reported not to care; that he’ll release Rahman after the election.   Our State Department, our Justice Department, Congress, and the American people must not allow this thing to happen. 

We don’t know whether the Bush Administration was delivered an ultimatum to release Rahman, which Bush would have rightly rejected.  We don’t know whether the police were trying to capture Osama Bin Laden in the act, and a photographer inadvertently interrupted the operation.  But I do know we must not allow ourselves to be blinded by fear, intimidation, or political correctness. 
Nearly three thousand people died on 9/11, its instigator is about to go free and Glenn Beck is wondering whether he had the “right” to broadcast the truth about the attack in Libya to the people first?  Nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11 and any of us who might know something should fear for our lives?  I was scared to death on Sept. 5, 2001.  I felt sick and  ashamed on Sept. 11, 2001.  I wasn’t at all surprised on Sept. 11, 2012.  I’ll do everything I can to warn you, as many times as necessary, not to let this thing happen.  Justice should not be blind in this case.  It’s Sept. 20, 2012, and I’m furious – and all of you should be, too.




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obama Believes in Free Distribution

Well, no kidding?  Anyone to whom this is news must have been living on another planet for about the last five years.  “I believe in the redistribution of wealth,” said he on the campaign trail for the presidency in 2008.  Not only does he believe in the Marxist theory of the redistribution of wealth, but so do his closest advisors and supporters:  David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and her sugar daddy, George Soros.

He doesn’t just believe in the redistribution of wealth, but of people.  In 2009, David Rusk, the son of former Secretary of State (Kennedy/Johnson administrations) Dean Rusk, and Mike Kruglik, Obama’s former community organizing trainer, formed Building One America, of which the New Jersey Regional Coalition is a member, with Obama’s blessing.

The appalling thing about Obama’s 2012 campaign is the way he is courting Middle Class Americans.  All of a sudden, he’s in favor of Middle Class values.  Understand this:  he hates the Middle Class, as every good Marxist does.  His book, “Dreams from My Father” is filled with hatred of white people, and particularly suburban white people.

Rusk proposes an “annexation” of the suburbs surrounding the cities to recapture the wealth that escaped the cities during the “white flight”, to destroy the boundaries that ensure the safety of the middle class, and lure the jobs that followed them out into the suburbs back to the cities.

Myron Orfield was responsible for the regionalization of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, targeting the “white enclaves” that were making it impossible for black children to learn properly (“Metropolitics:  A Regional Agenda for Community and Stability”). 

If you ever wondered how the Obamalites proposed to “redistribute the wealth”, look no further than the regionalization/annexation scheme.  Convince the suburbanites that it’s too costly and troublesome to run their own towns, and just let the “professional” urban planners (like Rusk and Orfield) take care of things.

Since the Socialists want to eviscerate all traces of Western civilization from the educational curriculum, just what will the poor little black children learn, sitting beside their white, suburban classmates?  When the little white child goes home, her parents are going to make her do her homework.  She’s going to see her role models reading or doing work they’ve brought home from the office.

Is the little black child going to go home to the same kind of environment?  Will her mother and father help her with her homework that night, read a bedtime story to her, or encourage her to read one?  Or will she go home to a house with a single mother, and half-siblings all sired by different men, none of whom are there?

If the black girl’s family has failed her, Obama says that we, Society, must pick up the slack, pay for her school lunch, her teacher’s salary, and the rent on the house.  The regionalists figure “helping” will seem less noxious to us if it’s only a few families in town, rather than a whole community of dysfunctional families clustered together in a ghetto.

That’s what my father, an arch conservative, suggested a generation ago.  But then came the school busing to the local high school.  Like the ships that arrived in Venice from the Levant, bearing the flea-bitten rats that carried the Plague into Europe, the buses unloaded a host of problems on our unsuspecting suburb:  lice, gangs, violence, crime, and unwilling students totally unprepared for and uninterested in a high school education.  The experiment was a failure and within a few months, the busing ended.

The companies and corporations that Obama loathes did a much better job of integration.  My former company located its new office in an area accessible both to urban and suburban workers.  No lice.  No gangs.  No violence.  Just people trying to make a living.  No one was “forced” to do anything, except maybe keep any racist nonsense harbored in their own breasts.  Who’s going to quit a good-paying job simply because your co-worker’s skin is a different color?

The urban minorities knew that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they had to shed the slum attitude.  White suburbanites knew that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they had to shun the racist nonsense of the past and understand that these were people just like them, educated, professional, and dedicated.

Still, at the end of the day, if they’d had enough of each other, they could still go home to the people they knew best, to their own neighborhoods, black or white.  The regionalists want to pull the black communities apart and scatter them across northern New Jersey.  If I were a black person, I wouldn’t be very happy about that.  They would be isolated and very likely exposed to the exact racism the Regionalists claim to be trying to cure.  That’s what happens to anyone of any color, creed, and nationality when they’re isolated from their community.

As for the white people, the crime they see on television in the ghettos is hardly exaggerated.  I’ve known teachers who’ve taught in the inner city, we’ve had friends who went to school in the inner city, and I worked for a time in New York City.  What better way to start your morning than being the lucky gal between two who got off the elevator first, escaping the robber who had joined us and robbed the second woman?

If both black and white people acknowledge that they would rather, for the most part, live apart, than what is this all about, other than bureaucrats getting their hands on the money of those who have it, and exchanging it for votes from those who don’t?  The regionalists proposal is a northern New Jersey filled with cities of no less than 100,000 people each.

You can imagine what that will do for freedom of speech and the political process.  If you think it’s hard to get to speak with your child’s principal or superintendent of schools now, in a little town of 7,500, like Bloomingdale, what’s going to happen when you have bureaucrats running huge cities?

New Jersey doesn’t need to be connected by Courage to Connect New Jersey (the meeting is tonight – and U.S. Senatorial candidate Joe Kyrillos is a proponent of regionalism) and Obama has no business deciding how our wealth is to be distributed.  When nobody among the electorate wants you to do something, such as regionalism, that’s exactly when you shouldn’t do anything.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pequannock Decides Its Fate Tomorrow Night

Pequannock Township will be under the gun tomorrow tonight, as slick Smart Growth representatives try to convince the townspeople its worth their weight in tax reductions to join the regionalization bandwagon.


Pequannock is one of those nearly all-white enclaves that a group called Courage to Connect N.J. is targeting, alongside Agenda 21, Building One America/One New Jersey, and Smart Growth.  If Pequannock just allows the regionalists to take control of, oh, waste management, the sewer authority, other utilities, and administration of the schools, Pequannock will save so much money in taxes they won’t know what to do with all that money.


But, as with all such deals, there is a catch.  Pequannock will have to allow its “fair share” of affordable housing.  Already densely populated, it’s hard to imagine where they would squeeze in this affordable housing, including apartment buildings.  But if you read Obama Zombie Myron Orfield’s “Metropolitics” or David Rusk’s “Cities Without Suburbs,” you get an idea of their game plan.


The trick is to go after poorer towns – like Bloomingdale and Pompton Lakes – and promise them the moon, and urban renewal money, if they’ll just sign on the dotted line.  That puts towns like Pequannock, with larger lot sizes, on the spot.  It’s just unfair, they’ll claim, that towns like Pequannock, Boonton Township, and Kinnelon have such large lot sizes (and we all know it’s to make the property and taxes higher to keep the more dangerous elements out), when inner ring suburbs are falling apart and bursting at the seams.


Those cities have no taxpayers left.  They all left decades ago for towns like Pequannock and Boonton because the social costs for supporting single-parent families with delinquent children was just too high. 


In 1920, my father lived with his family in Riverdale, N.Y., not N.J., in the Bronx.  At the age of five, he was beaten up by a gang of black teenaged girls.  You can guess my father’s feelings about black people after that.  Even so, he would have agreed with regional planners.  “It would be better,” said he, “if each town took its share of low-income people rather than concentrating them all in one place” where they would gain political power and never learn to be equals in a white society.


In 1956, my mother’s car broke down in front of Mount Vernon High School.  Mount Vernon is one of New York City’s first-ring suburbs.  She went to the door, where she was met by an armed guard.   In fact, there were armed guards at every door.  The guard told her, “You can’t go in there, lady.  I can’t let you.  It’s too dangerous.  You’d never come out alive.  Find some business along the road here that will let you use their phone.”


About 15 years or so later, my mother’s friend’s children became students at Mount Vernon High.  This would be the early 1970s.  They told us tales of regular shake-downs, beatings, robberies, and knife and gun fights.  They said the only way to survive at Mount Vernon High was to keep your head down.

Things were no better out in Los Angeles, where we moved in 1959.  The drug culture had already taken hold.  And these toughs were the white kids, sons and daughters of Long Beach dock workers and longshoremen.


The people of Pequannock – and Bloomingdale, Butler, Kinnelon, Pompton Lakes, and so forth – are not stupid.  They don’t want to see their high schools turn into Mount Vernon High School.  No matter what these snake oil salespeople say, the parents of Pequannock don’t want to see gang wars in their high school.  Drugs are a problem everywhere; no need to make it worse.


These socialist do-gooders will tell the townspeople that the “low-income” homeowners will be “spread out”.  Not in school they won’t be.  It only takes a small knot of troublemakers to terrorize a school population.  Faster than you can say “white flight” people will be out of there, just as they fled New Jersey’s cities and inner ring suburbs.  They say Newark was a beautiful city, once upon a time; that it was a treat to go shopping there.


The regionalization movement was aided mightily by the Mount Laurel ruling and COAH (The Council on Affordable Housing).  Regionalization means you will no longer be able to decide where you may live – or who your neighbors will be.  Refuse to allow the low-income housing, and you can be sure that your town will not get the funding to replace sewers, repair roads, or expand an airport.


Regionalists have a problem in that minorities are not anxious to be sprawled out into the suburbs and lose their political clout, so the regionalizers have had to rethink their plans.  It’s our tax money that they’re after and they’ll use any excuse to get their hands on it, whether it’s through penalties for large lot sizes, improvements to our own schools when urban schools are falling apart, or from the pulpit where Catholic churches in particular are in sympathy with the Socialists.


My parents had no fear of saying why they left the city, something it’s politically incorrect to say in modern times.  The regionalists will play on that fear and prevent the townspeople from registering their true and just complaints.


Pequannock has at least some ammunition, in that it’s already a densely-populated town, large lots notwithstanding.  Let’s hope some of these statistics will be useful to those who must defend their town tonight.  The statistics for nearby Boonton are included as a comparison:


Pequannock Township:

7.2 sq miles.

Population:  15,540

Pop. Density:  2,302.7 per square mile.

6,794 housing units at an average density of 1,006.7 per square mile

Median House Value $380K

Median House Value (2008):  $518,328

Rental average $946 – lowest value $658

Homeowners – 86%; 12,866 Homes

Rental Units:  7%, 996 Rental Units

Median HHI Income:  $84,322

Median Family Income:  $109,572

HHI Under $30K:  3.1%

Unemployment rate:  6.5%

Crime:  Larceny/theft

White:  95.76%

Black:  0.48%

Asian:  1.94%

Graduation rate:  97.1%

Spending per pupil:  $14,415



Boonton demographics: 

8.6 sq. miles

Pop:  8,347

Pop. Density:  508.9 per sq.mile  (in town proper, 2.35 sq miles, 3,556 people per sq. mile)

1,510 housing units at avg density of 179.2 per square mile.

Occupancy:  Homeowner   74%, 3,217 houses

Median house value:  $419,409

Avg.  Rent:  $1,166 per month

Renters:  26%  - Under $600/mnth

Median HHI income:  $91,753

Median Family Income:  $102,944

HHI Under $30:  1.3%

Unemployment rate:  7%

Crime problem:  auto theft.

White:   71.5%

Hispanic:  11%

Black:  4.3%

Graduation rate:  N/A

Spending per pupil $16,060 (State - $17,621)


There is one more fact about Pequannock Township of which its younger residents may not be aware:  Pequannock falls under the Optional Municipal Charter Law or Faulkner Act (N.J.S.A. § 40:69A-1, et seq.), which provides New Jersey municipalities with a variety of models of local government. This legislation is called the Faulkner Act in honor of the late Bayard H. Faulkner, former mayor of Montclair, N.J., and chairman of the Commission on Municipal Government.

The Faulkner Act offers four basic plans (Mayor-Council, Council-Manager, Small Municipality and Mayor-Council-Administrator) and two procedures by which the voters of a municipality can adopt one of these plans. The Act provides many choices for communities with a preference for a strong executive and professional management of municipal affairs. Twenty-one percent of the municipalities in New Jersey, including the six most populous cities – Newark, Jersey City, Camden, Trenton, Paterson and Elizabeth - all govern under the provisions of the Faulkner Act. More than half of all New Jersey residents reside in municipalities with Faulkner Act charters.

Now, this might not sound so good.  Those cities mentioned above are all blighted cities, Camden worst of all.  However, in all Faulkner Act municipalities, regardless of the particular form, citizens enjoy the right of initiative and referendum, meaning that proposed ordinances can be introduced directly by the people without action by the local governing body. This right is exercised by preparing a conforming petition signed by 10% of the registered voters who turned out in the last general election in an odd-numbered year (i.e., the most recent General Assembly election). Once the petition is submitted, the local governing body can vote to pass the requested ordinance, and if they refuse, it is then submitted directly to the voters.

The Faulkner Act was created to provide municipalities with greater flexibility than provided in New Jersey's traditional forms of government (city, township, borough, town, and village) and to expand on the reforms provided in the Walsh Act, which permits New Jersey municipalities to adopt a non-partisan commission form of government. The legislation was signed by N.J. Gov. Woodrow Wilson on April 25, 1911. The commissions in Walsh Act municipalities are composed of either three or five members elected for four-year concurrent terms. The commissioners also serve as department heads in addition to their legislative functions. The commissioners elect one commissioner as mayor.  However the mayor is only responsible for his or her departments and serves as the chair of the commission.

The Walsh Act was modeled on the commission system that was set up in Galveston, Texas in the wake of the devastating Hurricane of 1900. As part of its reconstruction efforts, the city reorganized itself to a government system in which each elected official had a specific area of responsibility, combining executive and legislative responsibilities. The Walsh Act was enacted in 1911, and specified that commissioners would be elected at large in nonpartisan elections, and would serve four-year, concurrent terms of office. The Walsh Act was the first charter law in New Jersey to include options for ballot initiatives, referendums and recall.

The 1923 Municipal Manager Law was the last type of reformed municipal government the State of New Jersey introduced in the Progressive Era. The law introduced to New Jersey the council-manager council-manager form of government first developed in Sumter, S.C.

The council is nonpartisan and elected at-large for four-year terms. The terms may be either concurrent or staggered, and there is an option for run-off elections. Presently, only Lodi Borough uses run-offs and staggered terms, with half of the council being elected for four-year terms every two years.

The mayor, elected by the council from its own numbers, has no executive responsibility beyond appointing representatives of commissions and boards, and presiding over council meetings. The mayor is elected for a four-year term in municipalities with concurrent terms or serves for a two-year term in Lodi Borough which has staggered terms.  The members of the council are subject to recall elections.

You can see already what sort of problems this can lead to, particularly in a town like Pequannock.

The council–manager government form is one of two predominant forms of municipal government; the other common form of local government is the mayor-council government form, which characteristically occurs in large cities.  Council–manager government form also is used in county governments and the governing body in a county may be called a council, a commission, freeholders, aldermen, and such.

Under the council–manager form of government for municipalities, the elected governing body (commonly called a city council, city commission, or board of selectmen) is responsible for the legislative function of the municipality such as establishing policy, passing local ordinances, voting appropriations, and developing an overall vision. County and other types of local government follow the same pattern, with a different title for the governing body members that matches the title of the body.

The legislative body, which is voted into office by public elections, appoints a professional manager to oversee the administrative operations, implement its policies, and advise it. The position of “mayor” present in this type of legislative body is a largely ceremonial title, and may be selected by the council from among its members or elected as an at-large council member with no executive functions.

The city manager position in this form of municipal government is similar to that of corporate chief executive officer (CEO), providing professional management to the board of directors. Council–manager government is much like a publicly-traded.   In a corporation, the board of directors appoints a CEO, makes major decisions and wields representative power on behalf of shareholders. In council–manager government, the elected council appoints a city manager, makes major decisions, and wields representative power on behalf of the citizens.

This system of government is used in 40.1 percent of American cities with populations of 2,500 or more, according to the 2011 Municipal Yearbook published by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), a professional organization for city managers and other top appointed local government administrators/CAOs.

As originally enacted in 1950, the Faulkner Act provided for three forms of government: Mayor-Council, Council-Manager and Small Municipality. Within each form, letter codes designated predefined aspects of each form and its individual arrangement of options, such as partisan or nonpartisan elections, concurrent or staggered terms, all at large or a combination of ward and at large seats.

In 1981, the Faulkner Act was significantly amended. The letter codes were eliminated, and the number of varieties within each plan was greatly increased. The Council-Manager plan was amended to include the option of having a mayor chosen by the electorate. A new form, Mayor-Council-Administrator, was added. Municipalities were also given greater flexibility to amend their Faulkner Act charter without having to place the entire charter on the ballot.

Good luck to the citizens of Pequannock Township (including Pompton Plains) tonight.  Change is coming, but remember that it is neither inevitable nor necessary.




Monday, September 17, 2012

Happyy Constitution Day



Today, Sept. 17, is the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.  According to the National Constitution Center, Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware—the first state to ratify the Constitution— kicked off the yearlong festivities as the first governor to present an official, signed proclamation commemorating the Constitution’s historic 225th anniversary. The Center has obtained proclamations from governors across the nation that call upon Americans to remember the Constitution's enduring significance and reflect on our rights and responsibilities as active citizens. These proclamations will be on display at the Center throughout the year.


Their website offers visitors a chance tosignthe Constitution and celebrate the freedoms the Founding Fathers preserved for us.


There was a predecessor to the U.S. Constitution – The Articles of Confederation.  However, it was a weak document that made no distinctions between the powers of the Federal government and the responsibilities of the individual states.  The Constitution repaired those deficiencies and truly united the individual states, protecting their separate rights but uniting them in the cause of a single nation.


Today, even as we celebrate the Constitution’s 225th anniversary, its words and principles are under attack.  The Constitution, intended to limit the power of the Federal government, is being rendered asunder by those who crave ever greater power, promising the “people” that their rights will be better protected under the auspices of a leviathan government.


By an odd coincidence, today is also the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street who, using their first amendment right of free speech, cry out for the destruction of individuality, creativity, success, and property ownership.  They would thrust upon us not an American revolution but a French revolution, violent, bloody, and inherently unjust.  The first right they would abolish is your right to criticize or condemn them and their “social justice” agenda. 


They, and their president of choice, Obama, would willingly do away completely with the U.S. Constitution.  To them, it’s an obstruction to their goals of tyranny, oppression, and outright theft.  If that’s what they think, then the U.S. Constitution has been doing its job these 225 years.  It’s up to us to make sure it continues to be the law of the land.  Do not be seduced by tax compromises or promises of absolution of “white guilt.”


The Constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal outcome.  No American citizen should be guaranteed more than his neighbor by accident of a poor birth than by a noble one.  Throw away our Constitution for the temptation of tax breaks, or threats of withheld government financing, and we will become a nation of serfs, as F.A. Hayek predicted.


On September 17, the members of the Constitution Committee met for the last time, and the venerable Benjamin Franklin had written a speech that was delivered by his colleague James Wilson. Appealing for unity behind the Constitution, Franklin declared, “I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats.” With Mason, Gerry, and Randolph withstanding appeals to attach their signatures, the other delegates in the hall formally signed the Constitution, and the convention adjourned at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

But the battle over the Constitution was not finished on that day.  The 13 colonies still had to ratify it.  A great debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists began, through a series of newspaper articles.  The Anti-Federalists were concerned that the Constitution gave too much power to the government and not enough protection to the states and to individuals.  Only when the Bill of Rights, the collective name for the first ten amendments to the Constitution, was adopted  and ratified in December, 1791, were both sides satisfied. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public.

The amendments were introduced by James Madison to the 1st United States Congress as a series of legislative articles. They were adopted by the House of Representatives on August 21, 1789, formally proposed by a joint resolution of Congress on September 25, 1789, and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on Dec. 15, 1791, through the process of ratification by three-fourths of the States. While twelve amendments were passed by Congress, only ten were originally passed by the states.

There is a movement today to make the United States subservient to the laws of the United Nations.  Such an act would obviate our sovereign constitution.  The United States is the leader and supreme example of freedom in the world.  Some believe that America oversteps her bounds on the global stage by encouraging freedom and representative democracy.  The fires of Hell are spreading across the Middle East and the world, ignited by the hatred of freedom and order.

Our response, as the leader of the free world, must remain firm and unthwarted in the face of mob violence, corruption, and despotism.  We must stand by our allies in the quest of freedom, those who look up to us as the exemplar of liberty, and guard the light of hope that our enemies, both foreign and domestic, would extinguish if we fail in our vigilance.

Freedom will prevail.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

In Blank We Trust

In [Blank] We Trust

A day after deleting Him from their platform, the Democratic National Convention, whose platform committee was headed by none other than Newark Mayor Cory, and taking three voice counts, the first of which certainly sounded like it approved of removing God from the platform, the DNC got religion and resurrected the creator of the universe.

Three sentences were removed identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and another sentenced that denounced Hamas as a terrorist organization.

 “The Obama Administration has followed the same policy towards Jerusalem that previous U.S. Administrations of both parties have done since 1967,” a DNC spokeswoman said of the change in platform language. “As the White House said several months ago, the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians – which we also said in the 2008 platform. We will continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue as part of a two state solution that secures the future of Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland of the Jewish people.”

Also gone is a previous reference to “God.”  The 2008 DNC Platform stated:

We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.

A Democratic official explained: “The 2008 platform reference is ‘God-given’ and is about growing the middle class and making America fair, not actually about faith.  The platform includes an entire plank on the importance of faith based organizations and the tremendous work that they do.  Further, the language we use to talk about faith and religion is exactly the same vocabulary as 2008. I would also note that the platform mentions: ‘faith’ 11 times; ‘religion’ or ‘religious’ 9 times; ‘church’ 2 times (one is a quote); and, ‘clergy’ 1 time.”

No matter how the Democrats tried to spin it, they just couldn’t fill in the blank.  The next evening, the DNC suspended the rules of the convention and reinserted “God” into the platform.

Or as Ben Shapiro of reported it:

“Tonight, the Democratic National Committee suspended the rules of the convention and inserted language regarding God and the State of Israel back to its platform. They had to vote three times to do it – and they had to lie to deem it passed, even though it was clear that the measure did not pass a voice vote in the chamber. The original 2012 Democratic Party platform had excised all mention of God and Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

“Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio made the motion to change the platform:

“This summer, I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair. I came before you today to discuss the two important matters related to our party's national platform. As an ordained United Methodist Minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party's platform.  In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party's platform should as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.

“Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the head of the Democratic National Convention, got up and asked for a two-thirds vote on the amendments to the platform. He took a voice vote, with people stating aloud ‘aye’ and ‘nay.’

“The first time, he couldn’t determine if two-thirds of the voters had said ‘aye’; a loud ‘no’ vote was heard. He asked for a second vote.

“The second time, he couldn’t determine whether the voice vote had passed. Again. Villaraigosa looked around in confusion.

“Finally, on the third attempt, Villaraigosa took a voice vote and simply declared, in the “opinion of the chair,” that it had been passed. There were widespread boos in the convention hall to the renewed inclusion of God and language about Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And Villaraigosa was lying, in any case – there is no way that the voice vote had passed. Opponents stood up and protested, waving and shouting. The fix was in. The Democratic leadership had to ram a mention of God and a mention of Jerusalem through, violating their own rules, to avoid the fallout within their own ranks.

The DNC put God back in His rightful place, to the great displeasure of many of their constituents.  Whose name should go in God’s place in the phrase, “God Bless America?”   Obama?  Lenin?  Stalin?  Mao?  George Soros?  Saul Alinsky?  Satan?  Lucifer?

It’s been 12 days since this fiasco.  Have you noticed how Obama now uses the phrase “God Bless America” and similar words all over the place?  We’re going to need His protection now that the Media has set in motion Wag the Dog II?

God is back in His role.  Who will they get to play the fat bankroller?  I know – George Soros.  Monica Lewinsky might be available for the role of the White House publicist, Valerie Jarrett.  We could get the president’s brother George to play the role of our Las Vegas-bound gambler-in-chief; he needs the work.  DeNiro could reprise his role as the Hollywood producer Bacile.  Lady Gaga could play the peasant girl holding the cat.  As for the ex-convict as the hero soldier, the prison would certainly let Wesley Snipes out on furlough.

Finally, they’ll need to get Willy Nelson to do another song about shoes.  I’m thinking “Slap Me Upside the Head with My Shoes” or “Shoes Me.”

Shoes Me

Use me
Abuse me
Lose me
Accuse me
What can I say?
Shoes me; I’m a Coptic Christian

 Sues me
Excuse me
Dues me
Refuse me
What can I say?
Shoes me; I’m a Coptic Christian

I don’t bow to the east
I don’t speak Arabic in the least
I’ll keep my shoes on in the hall
Jesus already saved me from the fall.

So shoe me
Crew me
Glue me
Hew me
I’ll still be a Coptic Christian.

More’s the pity for you.