Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: marijuana

New Jersey Governor Ignores Pension Crisis, Wants More Spending

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 17, 2018: 

English: Teachers at New College Nottingham pr...

Teachers protesting over proposwed cuts to government pension plans.

While running for governor of New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy was asked what he would do about the state’s overwhelming pension crisis, and he waffled: there’s “no easy answer,” he said. He added that the state would have to do something about the problem. Said Murphy, “The state has to stand up for its side of the bargain. Period. If the state doesn’t, there’s no use in having [any further] discussion.”

Murphy was inaugurated as the New Jersey’s 56th governor on Tuesday and promptly forgot all about the pension tsunami about to engulf the state. Instead he offered both a “wish list” and a “to-do list” for his supporters and Democratic legislators in attendance. His “wish list” contained the usual collection of liberal promises, while his “to-do” list is what he wants the state legislature to bring to his desk within the next 30 days.

His “wish list” was a rehash of his campaign promises — long on generalities but short on specifics — including legalizing marijuana, protecting illegal immigrants from ICE, providing free tuition at the state’s community colleges, eliminating “tax breaks” that large corporations are allegedly unfairly enjoying, investing state funds in more costly “green energy” projects, and paying for it all by raising taxes on those few millionaires still residing in one of the country’s highest-tax states.

He was much more specific with his “to-do” list. He ordered the state’s liberal and heavily Democratic legislators to get off the snide and send him six bills within the next 30 days, each of which, said Murphy, “will be met with a signing ceremony.” Their marching orders from Murphy included new funding for “women’s health” and Planned Parenthood, raising the minimum wage in the state to $15 an hour, mandating “equal pay” for women, requiring employers in the state to provide paid sick leave to their employees, passing laws removing barriers to having illegals vote, and, of course, additional attacks on the state’s more than three million law-abiding gun owners.

He mentioned not a word about the state’s pension crisis, which has been brewing for years and accelerating nearly exponentially. It’s not that Murphy doesn’t know about the crisis or its extent and potential for bankrupting the state. In 2005, acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey convened a commission to study “the problem,” naming Phil Murphy as its head. In its conclusion, that study urged the state in no uncertain terms to end immediately all “pension holidays” (the skipping of payments to the state’s five pension plans for a period of time), to avoid actuarial “gimmicks” commonly used to make those liabilities appear to be smaller than they actually are, and to eliminate borrowing to pay the state’s contributions. It also recommended a series of reforms, including an end to pension “spiking” (by which employees can sweeten their final payouts as they approach retirement), and raising the age at which plan beneficiaries could retire with full benefits. That last recommendation, which was never implemented, would have raised the full-benefit retirement age from 55 to 60.

So Murphy cannot claim ignorance. He is also certain to know of the accounting chicanery that took place last year, i.e., using the state’s lottery program to help pay the state’s pension contributions. But it was chicanery taken to level of audacity rarely seen even in states as corrupt as New Jersey. Instead of demanding that the lottery’s annual $1 billion proceeds flow into the pension funds’ coffers, the legislature actually transferred the entire program into those coffers and then declared that the future value of those annual proceeds (happily and likely generously estimated at more than $13 billion) was now an asset, reducing (on paper at least) the amount of the unfunded liability.

Moody’s Analytics was not impressed: “The lottery transfer does not change the state’s weak [and] steeply rising pension contribution schedule. [Even after the transfer] there remains considerable risk that the state will be unable to afford rapidly growing pension contributions.”

Also not impressed were two senior fellows at the Manhattan Institute, who just released their study of New Jersey’s pension problems. In January, well before Murphy neatly demurred on even mentioning them, the authors concluded: “It is highly unlikely that New Jersey will generate enough new revenues to meet its pension obligations without severely hobbling the rest of the state’s budget. At the same time, allowing its pension system to continue to accumulate debt by not contributing adequately to it will push New Jersey toward a potentially catastrophic failure of its government pensions.”

At the moment, those five government pension plans have the lowest funding ratio of any state in the union, with a liability estimated to be $124 billion. Those plans are only 30-percent funded currently and declining with each passing day.

But Murphy’s term is for only four years, and if he wins reelection, his tenure ends in eight years. Those plans will likely remain in place, continuing to threaten pensioners who still think they will be getting their benefits, and threatening the state with bankruptcy if it tries to fund them properly. But Murphy will be long gone, proving once again the old adage: Politicians come and go, but the unfunded promises they make live long after them.

Ninth Circuit Rules Marijuana Card Holders May Not Own Firearms

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 5, 2016:  

Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for...

Last Wednesday a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision that holding a marijuana card precludes its owner from keeping and bearing arms. In the process, the panel threw out the First, Second, and Fifth Amendment rights.

Rowan Wilson, a Nevada resident who held a state-issued marijuana card but didn’t use the weed, tried to purchase a firearm from Custom Firearms and Gunsmithing in Moundhouse, Nevada. She applied for the card to show her support for the freedom of people to make their own decisions about what they might or might not imbibe or inhale. It was a political statement only. It became personal when she tried in October 2011 to purchase a firearm for personal protection.

She was confronted with Question 11e on the required federal disclosure Form 4473 issued by the ATF, which reads:

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That Was No Love Letter Holder Sent to Brownback

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 15, 2015:

The Great Seal of the State of Kansas

Within days of learning that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the state’s Second Amendment Protection Act (SAPA), then-Attorney General Eric holder sought to put the upstart governor and his insignificant state in their place: SAPA was null and void. Federal officials would continue to operate in Kansas in spite of the new law, and if one of them were arrested, there would be trouble!

Wrote Holder:

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Federal Judge Tosses Brady Campaign Lawsuit Over Kansas Second Amendment Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 15, 2015: 

U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson punted last week on the Brady Campaign’s lawsuit against Kansas’ Second Amendment Protection Act by declaring that the Brady Campaign lacked standing to bring the suit in the first place. She wrote: 

At this time, Brady Campaign has not alleged an actual or imminent injury that is fairly traceable to the enforcement of the Act [that would therefore] be addressable by a favorable decision by this Court. 

 

Brady Campaign, therefore, lacks … standing to mount a constitutional challenge to the [state’s] Second Amendment Protection Act. 

This allowed Judge Robinson to avoid considering all the various “issues” raised by Brady: “The Court therefore need not reach the other issues raised in Defendants’ motion to dismiss.” 

What “other issues”? For starters is the law’s declaration that “any act, treaty, order, rule or regulation by the government of the United States which violates the Second Amendment of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.” 

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Genie Out of the Bottle: Nullification Efforts are Gaining Momentum

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 11, 2015: 

Cover of "Nullification: How to Resist Fe...

Once perceived to be invincible, government bureaucrats issuing decrees and mandates from on high are being exposed for what really are: Wizards of Oz. It was Tom Woods’ book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century that let the genie out of the bottle.

All Woods did was explain how the founders intended for the states to be the last line of defense against federal overreach. It put in place the Bill of Rights which contains the Tenth Amendment:

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SWAT Team Member Killed in Another Botched Drug Raid

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 14, 2014:

Another botched drug raid in Texas in December led to the homeowner defending himself, shooting and killing a SWAT team member, and a grand jury declaring he was justified in doing so. It’s usually the homeowner who suffers death, maiming, or jail.

Hank McGee was sleeping in his trailer house near Dallas, Texas, with his pregnant girlfriend early Thursday morning, December 19, when

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War on Drugs Claims SWAT team Member Using No-Knock Warrant

Hank McGee should be thankful that he didn’t wind up dead or dreadfully disabled in the no-knock raid on his trailer house in Texas early Thursday morning, December 19. Instead he reacted in fear that he was being robbed, grabbed his pistol and shot and killed one of the SWAT team members.

On Thursday, February 6th, a grand jury in Burleson County declined to indict him for murder, the first time in recent memory such a verdict had been handed down, according to McGee’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin. DeGuerin said McGee thought someone was

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The US economy is vastly larger than we know

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013:

For the past 25 years, Austrian school economist Mark Skousen, nephew of W. Cleon Skousen (author of The 5000 Year Leap), has been trying to get the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to count the rest of the economy that the GDP doesn’t measure. In April, the BEA will start reporting the GO

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Trayvon Martin was no innocent

On Friday President Obama, in an informal briefing in the Rose Garden instead of the usual press room of the White House, reiterated his earlier statement that Trayvon Martin, the victim in the Sanford, Florida shooting in February 2012, “could have been my son.” Said Obama:

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son.  Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.

And then he expanded on his remarks

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann