Trials in the Pacific

Pacific Paratrooper

Courtroom gallery of spectators, Manila, P.I.

For those of you who have regularly visited this site, you are aware of posts I already published concerning the war trials, some of the most prominent figures which are Posted Here.

This below is a short round-up of other trials that occurred….

Rabaul – the gallows used

Hundreds of others were also prosecuted in the American trials, including Lt. General Matsaharu Homma, the man who actually did order the Bataan Death March and the bombing of the undefended “open city” of Manila. His headquarters had been 500 yards from the road the prisoners had marched and died on and he had admitted having driven down that road of blood many times. He was sentenced to hang.  His wife appealed to MacArthur to spare him – which he refused, but did execute Homma by the less disgraceful method of firing squad.

During these trials…

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A Thesis on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and how to reverse the damage


By Donald L. Cline. January 22, 2020.

A thesis pertaining to the destruction of ALL our rights occasioned by restrictions on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Preface I: It has been claimed by various members of the legal and political professions that while the Constitution of the United States provides a permissible structure of laws, it is not law itself and its provisions must be enacted into statutory law to have legal effect. This is an egregiously and fraudulently bogus interpretation: The Constitution of the United States says it is the supreme Law of the Land and “the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

The U.S. Constitution IS the law.

Preface II: No crime, or criminal access to a firearm has ever, in the history of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, been prevented by a background check, and prevention of crime was not the purpose of the Act. Furthermore, the rate of violent crime was decreasing before the Brady Act and the rate of decrease after the passage of the Brady Act has been essentially unchanged. Background checks have not reduced violent crime or criminal access to firearms. Not one bit.

Preface III: Unlike other western nations, the United States of America does not list a collection of revocable government-issued privileges and permissions and pretend they are rights. Our form of government is founded on the principle that rights are a gift of G-d and are by law beyond the reach of government.

RE: Brady Act Background checks compelled as a precondition to the purchase of a firearm:

  • The right to keep and bear arms encompasses the right to buy and sell firearms. The Ninth Circuit has so ruled.
  • Being compelled to ask government permission to exercise a right converts the right into a government-issued permission and the permission is revocable. Conversion of our right to keep and bear arms into a revocable government-issued permission was one of two fundamental purposes of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993.
  • The second purpose of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 was to sucker citizens into supporting destruction of their Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendment-guaranteed rights as a pre-condition to obtaining government permission to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
  • The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides and requires: “The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” A NICS Background Check is a SEARCH of our “papers and effects,” albeit on government databases, and is compelled without a warrant, and without probable cause of criminal conduct. The noted records are NOT public records and may not be accessed absent criminal investigation. The compelled NICS background check is therefore a violation of our Fourth Amendment-protected rights whether done at the point of sale at a commercial business or compelled prior to the personal sale or transfer of a firearm to a private party.
  • The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides and requires in pertinent part“No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …” Due process of law is defined NOT by some government overseer monitoring the purchase or sale of firearms, but rather by a criminal court trial and conviction of criminal wrongdoing by a jury of the defendant’s peers. Absent a criminal court trial, withholding a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms is a TAKING of the right to keep and bear arms as well as our right to property, all in violation of our Fifth Amendment-protected right.
  • In addition, absent a criminal court trial and all the protections of our liberties attendant thereto, the confiscation of a citizen’s firearms by ex parte order of a Court as a function of a so-called “Red Flag Law” aka “Extreme Risk Protection Order” aka “Stop Order” is an egregious violation of our Fifth Amendment-protected right to due process. FURTHERMORE, an order by a Court to the victim of a Red Flag Law to undergo a mental health evaluation based upon his willingness to cooperate or lack thereof, is a SEARCH in violation of our Fourth Amendment-protected right against unreasonable search. (Aside: An unwarranted search not supported by probable cause of criminal wrongdoing IS an “unreasonable search.”)
  • The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides and requires “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” It is a long-standing doctrine of law that a person cannot be compelled to give up a right in order to exercise a right, and this right is protected by the Ninth Amendment. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 compels the citizen to give up a whole raft of rights in exchange for revocable government-issued “permission” to exercise the citizen’s right to keep and bear arms – permission no government at any level has any delegated subject matter jurisdiction to issue or deny.
  • The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides and requires “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This Amendment deserves further analysis:

♦  No power is delegated to the federal government to even license firearm dealers, let alone compel them to violate the aforementioned rights of their customers. Therefore it is unConstitutional for the federal government to do so.
♦  The States are specifically prohibited by the Bill of Rights from interfering with our right to keep and bear arms, our right to be secure from unwarranted and unreasonable search, our right to be secure from the taking of any right without due process, and our right to be secure from being compelled to give up any right in order to exercise any right. Therefore it is a violation of the Tenth Amendment prohibition for any State to do so.
♦  THEREFORE, these rights, ALL OF THEM, are reserved to the people – and the people cannot delegate these rights to government as powers, for government is prohibited from exercising them.

Suggestions on how to correct these egregious violations of our Constitutional rights:

Perjury is a “High Crime.” A “High Crime” is justification for impeachment. Elected, appointed, and commissioned officials are sworn or affirmed to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States as amended. Acting in a manner contrary to the terms of that Constitution is perjury of the oath. At the very least, any legislator exercising his duty under that oath has the duty to file an ethics complaint against any other legislator introducing, sponsoring, advocating, or voting for legislation not pursuant to the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State in which he or she serves.

It is also the right and duty of any citizen to file a civil or criminal complaint against any legislator or law enforcement officer or judge for legislating, enforcing, or adjudicating any color of law not pursuant to the Constitution of the United States or the State in which the offense occurs.

The U.S. Constitution Article I Section 6 Clause 1 provides in pertinent part “The Senators and Representatives … and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.” But for purposes of ethics complaints or Articles of Impeachment it is not necessary to question them in any other place; their introduced or sponsored legislation standing alone is sufficient evidence of their violation of oath.

Ultimately, the egregiously and flagrantly unConstitutional Brady handgun Control Act of 1993 must be rescinded, repealed, or otherwise struck down with extreme prejudice. It threatens our entire Constitutional form of government under the rule of law.

NJ Passes Law Banning ‘Realistic’ Toy Guns In State

H/T Bearing Arms.

This should help reduce the staggering amount of realistic toy gun crime in New Jersey. Snark!

The state of New Jersey has a lot of problems. Then again, what state doesn’t? They all have their challenges, to be sure.

However, it seems New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has all of his state’s problems beaten.

No, really, that must be it. All of its problems must have gone up in a puff of smoke and now legislators can focus on the little things. How little?

Well, it seems the state is banning “realistic” toy guns.

Governor Murphy signed a bill on Tuesday that would restrict the sale of realistic toy guns and ammunition, in response to the fatal police shootings of Tamir Rice and Tyre King several years ago.

The bill has several stipulations for toy gun manufacturers, which say toy guns cannot be blue, black, silver, or aluminum, the barrel of the gun must have an orange stripe on it, and the barrel of the gun must be made with the same material as the rest of the toy gun.

The problem with the shootings of Rice and King aren’t due to the lack of legislation, but a lack of understanding. No, I’m not bagging on the cops here. In those cases, they did precisely what I would have done under the circumstances.

No, the problem was that no one taught these children that if a police officer tells you to drop something, you drop it.

Also, you don’t point a gun at someone who has a real one.

The question for toy manufacturers is whether New Jersey represents a large enough market to bother with trying to comply. If not, the supply of toy guns will be greatly reduced to the Garden State. That might be a bigger problem in the long run.

While the deaths of Tamir Rice and Tyre King were legitimate tragedies, I can’t help but wonder how many other parents use toy guns to teach their children gun safety as I do with mine and like my father did with me. It’s a good way to learn the Four Rules in a way where violating them has minimal risk.

How many children will be denied this kind of opportunity?

Then again, this is Phil Murphy we’re talking about here. He probably prefers the kids not to learn gun safety because if they did, they might become gun people and then have this pesky insistence on maintaining their gun rights.

Folks are weird this way.

There is a very real possibility that this is an effort to dissuade people from becoming gun folks. Toy guns are a way of life, of course, but if people don’t get toy guns, then it’s possible they might not grow up to buy real ones.

Frankly, none of that matters. What matters is that this is a stupid bill that never should have seen the light of day, much less been turned into law. Then again, what else should I expect from New Jersey at this point? It’s simply what they do up that way, apparently.


Grand Jury Indictments in Harris County, Prosecution of Police in No Knock Raid

H/T AmmoLand.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court.

Innocent people have been killed due to faulty information and a no-knock warrant.



U.S.A. –-( In the ongoing investigation of the murder of an innocent couple during a Houston no-knock raid, two police officers have been indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury.

On 28 January, 2019, a no-knock raid was executed at 7815 Harding Street, the residence of a longtime married couple of modest means, Dennis Tuttle and his wife of twenty years, Rhogena Nicholas. Neither of the couple had any significant police record.

Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas were the victims.
Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas were the victims.

After the police broke down the door and shot the family dog, Dennis Tuttle fired back in defense. It was claimed he wounded four police officers with a .357 magnum revolver; that claim is uncertain because of how the crime scene evidence was collected.

Many police claims about the raid were disputed early. Investigations by Harris County, the Houston P.D., the FBI and a private forensics firm have been ongoing.

The Harris County District Attorney, Kim Ogg, announced felony charges and arrests of retired officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant of the Houston Police Department in August, 2019. The two officers were described as partners. Both retired two months after the Harding Street Raid, while the investigations were ongoing.

The Harris County DA took the unusual step of arresting the accused before a grand jury investigation.

On 15 January, 2020, the Harris County Grand Jury returned indictments for former officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant.  Goines for felony murder and tampering with documents, Bryant for tampering with documents.

Former Officer Goines (white shirt) and Bryant (grey shirt)

Former Sgt Goines was wounded in the raid, and could not speak to investigators. He gave written responses in the hospital. From his hospital bed, he claimed, at different times, five different confidential informants (CI) had made the drug buys claimed in the no-knock warrant. All five CI told investigators they had not purchased drugs at the house. Then Sgt Goines said he had purchased the drugs himself.

The case for the warrant and the raid unraveled.

The federal investigation resulted in warrants on federal charges of deprivation of rights under color of law and of obstruction of justice, of Goines, and of Bryan for falsification of records. In addition, a neighbor, Patricia Ann Garcia, was arrested and charged for false 911 calls.

Image from Texas DPS, as displayed by KHOU; cropped, scaled, and text added by Dean Weingarten reported that Patricia Ann Garcia had a lengthy criminal record of misdemeanors and a felony theft.  From

She was also convicted of felony theft in 1995. The rest of her long rap sheet is misdemeanors — five thefts, an assault of a family member in 2013, four driving while license suspended, with the last one in 2016 and one possession of marijuana.

The Harris County DA, Kim Ogg, said this grand jury will be dismissed near the end of the January, 2020. The investigation will continue in two more phases, each with a grand jury empaneled for about three months. The next phase should start early in February.

The second phase will concern itself with a review of additional officers and the potential of additional charges being brought.

The third phase, which should commence about the end of May, will be concerned with the shooting at Harding Street. From the press conference, DA Ogg:

“Phase three will be an investigation into the shooting itself and the other members of the squad who were in “the stack”; when the home was entered, the door was breached, and the family killed.”

The third phase of the investigation may answer questions about who fired what firearms, at what time, and at what targets.

Harris County has nearly two dozen investigators working on the case, nearly full time. Harris County hired ten additional investigators for this purpose.

DA Ogg said her office is working hard to investigate all leads to any corruption that is involved with this case, with narcotics squad 15 and its eleven members, or with any other case which is brought to them involving police corruption.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.


Trump Administration Finalizes Removal of ITAR “Gunsmith License”

H/T AmmoLand.

Another burden on businesses lifted by President Trump.


U.S.A. –-( The Trump administration is at the point of finalizing reform of antiquated Cold War rules which were used to target gunsmiths and small gun manufacturers. Included in the reforms is the transfer of responsibility for the export of most firearms and ammunition from the Department of State to the Department of  Commerce.

In 2016, the State Department, under the Obama administration, “clarified” the definition of “manufacturers” who were required to register under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The registration fee was $2,250 per year. reports the actions of the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC):

The DDTC defined manufacturing as, among other things: The production of firearm parts, the systemized production of ammunition, modifications that change round capacity, the machining or cutting of firearms resulting in enhanced capability, and use of any special tooling or equipment upgrading in order to improve the capability of assembled or repaired firearms.

The change in definition appeared to cover everything from drilling and tapping for scope mounts to threading a barrel. It impacted the small gunsmith, for whom $2,250 a year would be a large expenditure, more than large manufacturers. Those small gunsmiths are the least likely to be a threat to the United States military.

Attempts to reform the bureaucratic attack on gunsmiths began immediately. Return to the status quo was opposed by those who wish a disarmed population.

The Trump administration worked to return to the original situation for gunsmiths while reforming antiquated, restrictive rules of firearms exports which had accumulated under ITAR.

The final form of the new rules is expected to be published on 23 January 2020. There will be a 45 day period after that before the rules go into effect. From NSSF:

WASHINGTON — NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, applauds the Trump administration’s posting for public inspection of the final rules that modernize the export regulations for sporting and commercial firearms and ammunition products. The formal publication of the final rule is scheduled for Jan. 23. The rules will be implemented 45 days after formal publication.

President Donald Trump’s administration successfully completed the long-promised modernization of the export control regulations that began more than eight years ago under the prior administration, but which was never completed due to domestic gun control reasons.

“This is a tremendous achievement for the firearms and ammunition industry. We salute the Trump administration for modernizing our nation’s outdated Cold War era export controls and putting American manufacturers on an even playing field with their foreign competitors,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel. “This initiative will enable U.S. manufacturers to create more good-paying jobs in America while also helping to strengthen our national security.”

The rules issued today transfer export licensing of sporting and commercial firearms and ammunition products to the Commerce Department from the State Department. This change removes unnecessary and outdated regulations and allows the State to focus its export control resources on those items that give our warfighters a tactical advantage. It makes no sense to treat the commercial sale of hunting or target shooting rifles with the same level of scrutiny as nuclear weapons, tanks and fighter aircraft.

The new rules also eliminate a punitive annual $2,250 registration fee that gunsmiths and small companies who do not manufacture, nor export firearms or ammunition products were forced to pay.

The new rules will need to be examined carefully to see what they do and do not cover. It appears silencers/suppressors for sporting firearms will not be included in the transfer to Commerce. They should be. They are a simple technology shown to be beneficial in non-military settings. Many countries in the First World have little or no regulation of silencers/suppressors.

For example, any child with a few dollars in New Zealand, can walk into a store and walk out with a silencer/suppressor, yet silencers/suppressors are almost never used in New Zealand crimes.

Some are saying the transfer to Commerce will remove the restrictions that were placed on the publication of files for the 3D printing of firearms parts.  That would be a welcome change, and a fulfillment of parts of the settlement the Department of State made with Defense Distributed, in conformance with respect for the First Amendment.

A reading of the explanation of the proposed rules shows that files containing code for 3D printed firearms will still be controlled by the Department of Commerce. From the file to be published in the Federal Register, listed on

Given concerns regarding First Amendment restrictions the control is appropriately tailored to only impact technology and software in an electronic format, such as AMF or G-code, that is ready for direct insertion into a computer numerically controlled machine tool, additive manufacturing equipment to produce the firearm frame or receiver or complete firearm.

It is not clear this will stand a court test on First Amendment grounds. The controls will not impact the distribution of such files in drives or printed on paper.

The rule might be circumvented by rendering AMF or G-code files in such a manner they would have to be corrected or altered before use.

The reason given for the necessity of control of these files is suspect:

As a result, Commerce has reached the conclusion that U.S. national security and foreign policy necessitate that BIS maintain controls over the 3D printing of firearms when such software and technology is posted on the internet. The potential for the ease of access to the software and technology, undetectable means of production, and potential to inflict harm on U.S. persons and allies abroad present a grave concern for the United States.Without regulatory oversight, U.S. foreign relations and national security interests could be seriously compromised. For these reasons, this final rule provides that technology and software ready for insertion into an automated manufacturing tool that makes use of the software or technology to produce a firearm frame, receiver, or complete firearm is subject to the EAR, consistent with the regulation of such software and technology when previously controlled under the USML.

None of the above rationales is based on a “military advantage” of the United States. It seems, peculiarly, to be based on the idea of preserving foreign governments’ limited ability to keep their populations unarmed. It is based entirely on subjective hypotheticals and potentials. All of those are based on the assumption armed populations (other than those of the United States) are entirely detrimental.

The transfer of controls from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce, the elimination of the burdensome fee for gunsmith activities, and the easing of export controls for common, commercially available firearms and parts, are all welcome and useful reforms.

Exactly how the regulations will work in practice remains to be seen.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

New US Aircraft Carrier Named Pearl Harbor Hero Doris Miller

H/T War History OnLine.

I think this a great move and I also feel that Dorie Millers Navy Cross be upgraded to the Medal Of Honor.

Concept art of the future carrier Enterprise (DoD)
Concept art of the future carrier Enterprise (DoD)

Doris Miller was the first black recipient of the Navy Cross and has inspired generations of African American sailors who have followed him into the service.

Ten of the last fourteen US Navy aircraft carriers have been named for US Presidents, all of whom have had military experience, two for Congressmen and one for Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

The fourteenth will be named for a man  who achieved the rank of Cook Third Class and seen by many as the first American hero of World War Two.

Doris "Dorie" Miller
Doris “Dorie” Miller

On that fateful day, December the 7th 1941, when the USA was finally dragged into the global conflagration that became World War Two, Doris Miller was up at six in the morning to serve breakfast on the USS West Virginia.

He was collecting laundry just before eight when the first of nine torpedoes launched from the Japanese Imperial Navy Aircraft Carrier Akagi struck amidships. He immediately scrambled to his battle station but discovered it had been completely destroyed.

Instead, he reported for duty at ‘Times Square’ where he was taken up onto the bridge to assist in the evacuation of the ship’s captain, Mervyn Bennion, incapacitated by a shrapnel wound to his abdomen.

In the melee it was impossible to leave the area with the captain, so he was taken to a less exposed position behind the conning tower.

Here there were two Browning 50 calibre anti-aircraft guns which Miller was ordered to help operate, despite having no formal training.

Illustration of Miller defending the fleet at Pearl Harbor
Illustration of Miller defending the fleet at Pearl Harbor

He was expected to simply load ammunition but instead he took control of the starboard gun and fired until he ran out of ammunition.

‘It wasn’t hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine,’ Miller said. ‘I guess I fired her for about fifteen minutes. I think I got one of those Jap planes. They were diving pretty close to us.’

After the ammunition was gone Miller helped to move the wounded to a place of safety through the smoke and oil and water.

(Original Caption) Admiral Chester W. Nimitz pins the Navy Cross on Doris Miller, the first Negro to win the award, in ceremony aboard a warship at Pearl Harbor.
(Original Caption) Admiral Chester W. Nimitz pins the Navy Cross on Doris Miller, the first Negro to win the award, in ceremony aboard a warship at Pearl Harbor.

Sadly, Captain Bennion did not survive and the USS West Virginia eventually sank following direct hits from two armour piercing bombs and five aircraft torpedoes.

Following the attack Miller was transferred to the USS Indianapolis and in January the commendations were announced following the action on December 7th.

Miller wasn’t named in the list, but an ‘un-named negro’ was mentioned and it took until March 12th for Miller’s name to become public following a story in the Pittsburgh Courier.

His commendation arrived on April 1st, and on May 27th he was awarded the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W Nimitz.

(Original Caption) Admiral Chester W. Nimitz pins the Navy Cross on Doris Miller, the first Negro to win the award, in ceremony aboard a warship at Pearl Harbor.
(Original Caption) Admiral Chester W. Nimitz pins the Navy Cross on Doris Miller, the first Negro to win the award, in ceremony aboard a warship at Pearl Harbor.

The citation read, ‘For distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941,’

Despite accusations of tokenism the announcement has been broadly welcomed across the media, with an official ceremony due to take place soon in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the site of Miller’s medal-winning actions.

Acting Navy Secretary, Thomas Modly had wanted to name the carrier after a Navy hero and Miller’s name survived extensive consultations with current and former senior personnel.


The story goes that Mess Attendant 3rd Class Doris Miller, sometimes called Dorie, got his female name from the midwife, who was convinced that after three sons his mother was due a girl. Doris grew up on his parent’s smallholding in Waco, Texas.

Despite a reputation for hard work he dropped out of school after being held back in eighth grade and instead went on to complete a correspondence course in taxidermy.

In 1939, shortly before he turned twenty Miller decided to enlist and was sent to a Naval Training Station in Norfolk Virginia, where at six feet three inches (1.91m) and two-hundred pounds (91kg), Doris’s name didn’t cause him any problems.

Doris Miller continued to serve in the Navy until November 1943 when he was killed by a Japanese torpedo attack on escort carrier USS Liscome Bay shortly after the Battle of Makin.



New Jersey Bill Could Turn Painful Layoffs into Death Spirals for Companies

H/T Western Journal.

This so-called Toys R Us law will cause companies to exit New Jersey.

You can’t make a worker’s paradise without breaking a few companies.

It was understood that the business climate in New Jersey would change when Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy was elected in 2017.

Generally blue New Jersey had a Republican governor in the person of Chris Christie for eight years, and one could have reasonably anticipated a rubber-band effect; with the governor’s mansion back in their control, particularly in control of an inveterate left-winger like Murphy, there was going to be a pent-up release of progressive legislation.

It’s now 2020 and that rubber-banding continues unabated, with the business climate being one of the areas most adversely affected. A plan to phase in a $15-an-hour minimum wage law over five years was passed last year and corporate tax rates were hiked significantly. The good news is that this hasn’t affected the state’s unemployment — yet, anyway, thanks to a booming economy.

Still, New Jersey was one of the top five states for residents moving out in 2019, according to a North American Van Lines report. In 2018, it was the No. 1 state for out-migration, the North American Van Lines report from that year showed. And 46 percent of movers said they left due to job-related circumstances. Oh well — less competition in the incipient labor Shangri-La, right?

Now, as CBS News reported, the Democrat-dominated New Jersey legislature has a new gift for the state’s employers: A mandate that companies that lay off more than 50 workers at a time give the employees longer notice and give them one week’s pay for every year the employee has worked for the company, among other benefits.

The bill, S-3170, is known colloquially as the “Toys ‘R’ Us Bill,” CBS reported. It’s named for the bankrupt children’s retailer that shut down in 2018 and had its headquarters and distribution center in the Garden State. According to, this resulted in 2,028 lost jobs.

The bill passed both the state Senate and the Assembly on Jan. 13 and is on its way to the governor’s desk. Tuesday is the deadline for Murphy to sign or veto the bill, reported.

The legislation, CBS News reported, would extend the prior notice period for mass layoffs — designated as any layoff of over 50 employees by a company with over 100 employees — from 60 days to 90 days. The severance pay mandate would be extended to all employees, as opposed to just full-time ones.

It would also categorize the severance payments as wages owed, which could have a substantial legal effect, according to Alvaro Hasani, an employment attorney for Fisher Phillips who talked to The Washington Post.

Hasani said that most companies require a “release of claims” agreement in return for severance payments, in which the laid-off employee agrees not to sue the employer. Under the “Toys R Us Bill,” Hasani says, “what’s unclear is whether that can be a continuing practice given the law.”

“Under the [bill], the severance is characterized as wages owed, so you can’t bargain,” Hasani said.

“Companies have exploited bankruptcy laws to protect their profits while workers lose their jobs and severance pay,” state Sen. Joseph Cryan, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said in a statement after the bill passed the Senate.

“Employees shouldn’t be left in the dark as companies are pillaged for their resources after equity firms load them down with debt and the top officials walk away with bonuses. The law needs to be upgraded to better protect the rights of the workers.

“In this and other cases, the bankrupt companies were purchased by private equity firms that imposed massive layoffs while top executives walked away with millions of dollars in bonuses,” he added.

The details of the Toys R Us death are irrelevant here; its business model was thoroughly untenable in the era of Amazon and Target, where most of what it offered could be purchased online or in a retailer with a more varied selection of goods. Its shutdown was inevitable, one way or another, particularly given the ongoing “retail apocalypse.

Protecting companies from leveraged buyouts by private equity firms wouldn’t have made Toys R Us profitable nor would it have saved those jobs, in the long run. Nor, in fact, does this legislation do anything of the sort.

What it does do, however, is potentially create a death spiral for companies that are based in New Jersey or that choose to locate a substantial portion of their workforce there.

“If enacted, this proposal would make our business climate even less competitive,” Mike Wallace, a vice president with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, said in a December statement.

“It would come after the enactment of a series of tax increases and other expensive mandates imposed on employers during the past year, including a higher corporate business tax, higher state income tax, new paid sick leave requirements and the signing of a $15 minimum wage.

“This is an example of a piece of legislation that was a reaction to a really unacceptable situation,” CEO Christine Renna of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, told The Washington Post. “It’s going to make New Jersey an outlier.”

The new law wouldn’t just have a deleterious effect on for-profit businesses, either.

“My nonprofit clients are really concerned,” Newark, New Jersey-based attorney Maxine Neuhauser told The Post.

“These are not folks who are being driven into bankruptcy by private equity companies. These are organizations trying to do good work.”

Of course, the primary danger is to companies, particularly when they’re at their most vulnerable.

Most corporations aren’t Toys R Us and they’re not trying to pick up stakes and leave employees in a lurch to make a quick profit for executives. If they can’t afford to reorganize, however, or have to make employment termination decisions further in advance, you’re going to see more jobs lost than you would have.

For companies trying to become profitable the right way, this bill is a millstone around their neck — and one that could well pull them under thanks to the increased expenses it contains.

As for the Democrats’ contention this bill will somehow help thwart iniquitous behavior by private equity firms, that’s either deliberately over-optimistic or adorably naïve.

The danger is that New Jersey isn’t just an outlier, however. Remember how we conservatives used to ridicule $15-an-hour minimum wage legislation, when and where it was enacted, as a thoroughly untenable fantasy? That sort of legislation is still thoroughly untenable, but it’s hardly a fantasy at this point, having become the norm as opposed to the exception in blue jurisdictions nationwide.

The same thing could be said for New Jersey’s bill. The Post reported that United For Respect, a labor group that worked with Democrats on crafting the New Jersey statute, is also working with legislators in California, New York and Michigan to enact similar laws in those states.

Which is alarming, since this bill hurts those it purports to protect. Democratic lawmakers want you to believe that they’re standing behind workers on the lowest rung of the employment ladder, particularly in the retail sector. What they’re doing, however, is scaring away employers from directing more jobs away from New Jersey. Given the scarcity of jobs in the retail sector as it is, the stand Democrats are taking is cold comfort at best.

Meanwhile, those on the lowest part of the lowest rung are part-time employees, who are no longer exempted from the protections for laid-off workers. However, to count this as a protection, you have to presuppose those positions will exist or continue to be created after the law is passed. When you consider the additive effect of a minimum wage that will increase to $15 an hour by 2024, that’s hardly a guarantee for New Jerseyans.

It’s not good for workers, it’s not good for businesses and there’s zero evidence this will restrain private equity. It sounds great on paper, though — and like any supposedly well-intentioned piece of legislation introduced by the Democrats, it’ll be held up as an example of how they protect the little guy from the machinations of big business.

Meanwhile, I can guarantee you Gov. Murphy and Co. will feign cluelessness as to why people are fleeing the worker’s paradise they’re busy setting up in the Garden State.