An injustice in a New Jersey town has gained local, state and national attention in alternative media circles. An article in the Examiner (h/t Harriet Baldwin) shares the ordeal of a family in Newfield, NJ. On Saturday, March 9, an informal meeting was held to discuss the findings on the “revaluations” by Appraisal Systems, Inc., a company contracted by the State of New Jersey to assess fair market property values for each county or borough for the tax assessors’ offices. Ms. Hart and her husband Keith were in attendance.
Ms. Baldwin explains the situation in the link above, but as a summary, Ms. Hart believed her Constitutional rights and freedom of religion were violated by the way an Appraisal Systems employee handled the inspection. It should be noted that the link in Ms. Baldwin’s article to the page with the staff members has recently been disabled, while previously it included name and photos of their employees. One would think the decent thing for such a company to do would be to assist in the investigation of abuse by an employee, but even worse than that was what happened when Ms. Hart complained of the treatment she received. From Ms. Baldwin’s article:
Relates Hart: “She also wouldn’t let me speak and told me to sit down and shut up and listen as well. That’s when the young man came toward me. I knew he was going to put his hands on me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye. I said to him “Don’t you dare touch me.” Then they threw us out of the auditorium. The young man from Appraisal Systems, Inc. was the one going postal, and I believe if HE HAD A GUN, he would have shot me, Keith and Khloe on the spot. I was calm the entire time.”
When the Harts left the gathering, they were followed into the parking lot of the community center, and the same young man who had been so upset by Ms. Hart’s comments in the community center, started screaming and shouting at her, took down the license plate number of her vehicle and said - “See if you are able to pay your property taxes NOW!”
Eileen didn’t understand what that shouted threat meant, until she returned to her home with her family.
When they arrived, there were 5 police cars from the Franklinville Police Department. They advised her that the Clayton Police wanted to talk to her about the allegations.
A background check was run on Ms. Hart, a legal gun owner, which is really a redundancy, as the right to keep and bear arms is tied to the natural right of self-defense, and no criminal background was found. Still, Ms. Hart was told to surrender her self-defense tools willingly or face a very high bail, which, if she could not pay it, she would be in the county jail for a very long time. Does this sound like something? Indefinite detention, perhaps?
Yes, while other states are attempting to nullify the indefinite detention provisions of the 2012 and 2013 NDAA, New Jersey is acting like the model for DC to follow. While bills with criminal charges for federal agents, non-compliance bills, or at least non-binding resolutions condemning the practice pass in states, counties and towns across the United States, not a peep is heard in the Garden State. Ms. Hart is also not the only case of state and local violation of our civil liberties in New Jersey.
In January of this year, Keith Panteleon was arrested and held on $75,000 bail after a search without warrant of his property turned up an undocumented Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle. NJ.com fails to mention the lack of a warrant, yet emphasizes the fact that his rifle was the same type used in the Sandy Hook shooting last year. It should be noted that anybody who works packing out freight in a store regularly wields the same “weapon” used to hijack airplanes in the 9/11 attacks. People’s actions should be judged, not how they or their property may look. For Pantaleon’s side of the story, which the accused should always have the right to share, it’s best to let him speak for himself. In the meantime, he currently awaits indictment.
Speech, religion, bearing arms, being secure in our property…what rights abuses are next in New Jersey? What is at stake if we do nothing, or if we depend on the mainstream media or even alternative media to highlight this insanity? If it gets the coverage, fantastic, but if the people don’t show they care, it does nothing for us.
Standing up to DC on the NDAA indefinite detention and many other violations of our rights is important. Before we can effectively nullify DC from here, however, we need to pressure our state and local officials to respect our rights at home. It cannot be emphasized enough that there is not only a gubernatorial election but that every state legislative seat is up for grabs in 2013, as well as perennial county freeholder and town council elections. This needs to be an election issue at every single level. For officials not up for reelection this year, it still needs to be an issue brought to their attention constantly. Contact your officials about it, not just once, but ask for a call back. If you hear nothing, follow up again after a week or ask to meet with them. One thing is for certain, when speech is made illegal, it is not the time to be silent, but rather to nullify their attempts by being all the more vocal.