PAYOFF ENROUTE FOR TALENTED COMICS BUDDY FITZPATRICK AND JOE BRONZI

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE

Two guys walk into a bar. The third one ducks.

The first two men are comedians Buddy Fitzpatrick and Joe Bronzi. The third is a guy who never made it in the business – because he took the easy way out.

Fitzpatrick and Bronzi, who have over 60 years of stand-up comedy experience between them, are relentless (constantly walking into bars) and ever-continuing to reach for the brass ring. They have each developed technique, bits and material that span audience markets, including theatres, casinos, resorts, corporate events, and comedy clubs. They are a rare breed, for sure, in the comedian world, since both Fitzpatrick and Bronzi can play to audiences from ages 7 to 107, using language that is clean, suggesting or down right raunchy – although both tend to stay on the PG-13 side of writing for their general audience.

Like most comics coming from the 90’s genre, Bronzi  and Fitzpatrick began their careers in “open mic” venues, which often consisted of bars and make-shift clubs in the back of bowling alleys, laundromats, or anywhere a stage and a mic could be placed. Like rats sniffing out fodder to fill their bellies, the two comedians would find these amateur places to tryout their material. The key was, and still is, stage time.

Bronzi’s background includes extensive improv training, and his performance style mixes award-winning writing with fast-paced “of -the-cuff” crowd interaction. He has opened for many of the industry’s top talents, including , Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Brad Garret, Louis Anderson, Robert Klein, John Pinette, Brian Regan, Dom Irrera, Gilbert Gottfried, and Kevin Pollock. For five years, he was the regular (and only) opener for the comedy legend David Brenner.

At the age of 18, Fitzpatrick left his hometown of Philadelphia to pursue a career in the arts. He obtained his acting chops via graduating from New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts. While auditioning, Fitzpatrick never wanted to wait tables or drive cabs, so he took to the comedy stage, honed his craft and, soon after, became a regular at all the prominent showcase clubs in New York City. His act is made up of inventive material delivered in a self-assured style, where he combines the skill of a great monologist with a physical style that brings his observations to life. Fitzpatrick’s stand-up made him a regular on the Cable Comedy Channels of the 1990’s and 2000’s.

The two comedians would meet in the late 90’s, working the same stage, and formed a close friendship. But as often happens when comics become headliners, their gigs would ultimately keep them apart, taking their careers and relationship in a completely different direction. Bronzi became a regular on the high seas for Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. Fitzpatrick went on to be a regular opening act for Joan Rivers, Amy Schumer, Bobby Slayton and Susie Essman.

Bronzi’s calling would also find him performing as a warm-up Comedian for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” on NBC, “Room for Debate” on ESPN, “Crowd Rules” on MSNBC, and “The Match Game” hosted by Alec Baldwin. As Bronzi is also a trained actor, he has landed roles in independent films including Due Diligence and The Cleaning Lady, and a starring role Off-Broadway in James McClure’s Pvt. Wars.

Fitzpatrick never lost the acting bug and congruently continued auditioning, securing roles in the films Harlem Aria with Damon Wayons, and The Business of Strangers with Julia Stiles. His television credits include HBO’s “The Sopranos”, and most recently, Apple TV’’s “Faces” – written by Stephen King and starring Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, and Joan Allen. Fitzpatrick has written, produced and performed his biographical play “Sides” at various NYC theatres. Upcoming is his new one-person play (which he wrote and will perform), I Bet You Think This Play is About You.

Fitzpatrick, the longtime Opening Night Host of one of the world’s largest film festivals, Hoboken International Film Festival (Gilbert Gottfried is the festival’s Closing Night Host), has also played lead and significant supporting roles in multiple successful independent films, including Rock Story, American Criminal, The Brawler, and A Karate Christmas Miracle. In these films, he has acted alongside the likes of Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts,  Joyce DeWitt, Martin Kove, Joe Pantoliano, Amy Smart, Taryn Manning, Yancy Butler, Dominique Swain, and Gilbert Gottfried.

Fitzpatrick and Bronzi reunited on the stand-up circuit, and immediately started tying comedic – and dramatic – knots together. The paid began serving as writer partners, inking scripts; joining them in their writing endeavors has been Bronzi’s wife, Lindsay Gelfand.

When Fitzpatrick was tapped to co-write, co-produce and star in an upcoming star-filled indie, A Wrestling Christmas Miracle, he brought Bronzi into the project’s 2020 shooting. Fitzpatrick, playing a Grinch-like thespian-turned-thief, suggested Bronzi for a key supporting role – a bizarre businessman who talks to himself in varied crazed accents (Broniz has a special talent for accents); Bronzi landed the role. Fitzpatrick plays one of the film’s lead males, alongside child star (and real-life nationally-ranked youth wrestler) Mario Del Vecchio, Martin Kove, Julie McCullough, Gilbert Gottfried, Jimmie Walker, Candy Fox, Todd Bridges, Scott Schwartz, and Michael Winslow. The film – a comedy with the tagline “It Could Only Happen on Christmas” – will be released in late November/early December.

Daniel Sonninshine is an Empire State News staff writer, who is in search of greatness. A 20-something smart fellow, he is now lifting weights in an effort to obtain more power. If that doesn’t work, he will ask to write more editorials for Empire State News and less fact articles. He also dabbles in film reviews. Favorite flicks include The Godfather, Blazing Saddles, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Passion of the Christ.

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VP DEBATE: FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY VS. SOCIALIST ENSLAVEMENT

By RICK MANNING

Last night’s debate between Vice President Pence and Senator Harris was a direct contrast between conservative Midwestern values and San Francisco, California values. Pence’s steady, low-key leadership is the perfect balance for President Trump as he leads America on his bold agenda. Senator Harris’ main distinctions were being named the most liberal senator in a Senate that includes socialist Bernie Sanders and attacking Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in what was nothing more than a #MeToo witch hunt.

One of the key issues in the debate is America’s relationship with the Communist Chinese government.  While President Trump and Vice President Pence have worked to establish a fair trading relationship with China, Senator Harris criticized the tariffs placed on China’s cheating steel industry which has systematically destroyed American made steel jobs due to government subsidies and the use of near slave labor.

It was stunning that the clearly biased, unknown debate moderator from USA Today, did not ask about Senator Harris’ personal financial ties to the Communist Chinese government through her husband’s law practice as a partner at DLA Piper.  While her husband Doug Emhoff left the firm in April of this year, it is imperative to know what actions he was engaged in with his communist Chinese partners over the past three years where Beijing’s overt attacks on America and the rest of the world became more and more apparent.

What’s more, Emhoff’s firm played a role in helping the Chinese with their infamous Belt and Road initiative, which has dramatically increased their influence in the world while permanently financially indebting many African nations to their Chinese colonizers.

And it is beyond belief that Harris who has little good to say about America, has no problem standing up for China, which is actively engaged in using child- and slave-labor according to the U.S. Labor Department, has set up concentration camps for millions of Muslim minorities and even kills political and religious dissidents by harvesting their organs one by one keeping the victim alive until their bodies are no longer of use, selling their vital organs to the wealthy around the world for transplant.

The lack of any outrage from the Biden-Harris ticket when it relates to China which has heavy business ties to both Biden and Harris is indicative that if elected, America will not any longer be a beacon of hope for oppressed peoples, but will soon kneel before its Chinese masters.

It is equally incomprehensible that Harris and Biden see nothing wrong with the hollowing out of the American economy due to Biden’s support for and eventual passage of Permanent Normalized Trade Relations with China in 2000, as well as Biden’s strong support for NAFTA in the 1990’s.

The very same NAFTA that President Donald Trump replaced with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade (USMCA)  agreement that will bring thousands of automotive jobs back to the United States while also increasing agricultural trade with our North American trading partners.  The Vice President wisely noted that Senator Harris voted against the USMCA, showing her disdain for the American worker who she would gladly sacrifice on her Green New Deal altar.

In other revelations, Harris joined Biden in refusing to pledge to not pack the Supreme Court, which would eliminate the independence of the judiciary, instead making up a story about why Abraham Lincoln did not appoint a Supreme Court Justice in 1864.

Here is why packing the Supreme Court ends judicial independence.  If the executive and legislative branches choose to expand the nation’s high court to rubber stamp their dubious constitutional policies, they have effectively ended the rule of law as the courts will not be a check on unconstitutional actions as they were designed to be.

Yet, Harris, an attorney and former prosecutor, refused to pledge to protect the Supreme Court’s independence.

On taxes, Harris tried to have it both ways when she said that her ticket would end the Trump tax cut which lowered taxes for middle class Americans by $2,000 on average, while denying that their policy is a tax hike on the middle class. Huh?

And finally, she and former Vice President Biden want to tell the public that they won’t destroy America’s energy independence through imposing the Green New Deal which Harris eagerly co-sponsored, yet their website still says that the Green New Deal underpins their climate policy which is endorsed by Green New Deal authors Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders.

America has been given a choice of competing visions for the future. Vice President Pence represents the hope of freedom and opportunity in line with the DNA of America. California Senator Harris represents the failed Marxist philosophy that impoverishes and enslaves people wherever it is tried in the world.  Mike Pence represents the solid middle American values that have made America great, and Harris promises to impose San Francisco values on the rest of America.  The choice is clear.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can read more of his articles at www.DailyTorch.com. 

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WHY BIDEN’S THREAT TO PACK THE SUPREME COURT MATTERS

By Catherine Mortensen

After Joe Biden and Kamala Harris dodged debate questions about “packing the courts,”  Biden, when pressed further finally said, “You’ll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over.”

Biden is playing games with the American people on what could be the most consequential issue of the election and here is why this matters.

Presidents are constitutionally bound to fill vacancies on the courts including the Supreme Court which has been set to nine justices since 1869. It is expected that they will nominate judges who share their views on the constitution. Naturally, these presidential appointments can have far-reaching impacts on the nation.

What is not normal, expected, or natural is to “pack the court.” Packing the court is a different thing altogether. It is when a president attempts to increase the number of judges on any given court in order to get a desired political outcome.

“Packing the court” was coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was a slang term for the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.

Roosevelt sought to reform the number of Supreme Court justices in an effort to obtain a favorable ruling for the New Deal legislation.

The central provision of the bill would have granted the president power to appoint an additional justice to the Supreme Court – up to a maximum of six – for every member of the court over the age of 70 years and six months.

Roosevelt’s bill went nowhere. The public and Congress rejected it, seeing it for what it was, a power grab. No president has ever tried it since. At least not with the Supreme Court.

However, during the Obama-Biden Administration, Senate Republicans accused the White House and Senate Democrats of trying to pack the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This court is often referred to as the second highest court in the land because it hears important cases concerning the federal government.

In 2013, The 11-panel court had three vacancies which Obama sought to fill. But Republicans pointed out that the court did not handle enough cases to warrant 11 judges and sought to reduce the number to 9.

Republican leaders tried to make the case that “the most underworked appeals court in the country should not be manipulated by the president and his political allies to advance their agenda.”

According to an October 2013 Senate Republican Policy Committee memo, an unnamed D.C. Circuit Court Judge said, “I do not believe the current caseload of the D.C. Circuit or, for that matter, the anticipated caseload in the near future, merits additional judgeships at this time. … If any more judges were added now, there wouldn’t be enough work to go around.”

That same memo noted, “Senate Democrats and their allies have been quite clear: they are pushing to make more appointments to the D.C. Circuit — not because they are needed, but because they want judges who will rubber-stamp the President’s agenda.”

Ultimately, the Obama-Biden Administration succeeded in appointing four judges to that court in which Democrats now hold sway.

This matters because the D.C. Circuit has sole responsibility for deciding cases having to do with the balance of powers of the branches of government and decisions made by government agencies affecting issues such as health care, national security, and energy development.

“In 2013, when Obama attempted to pack that court, his administration had a problem,” explained Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government. “There were a number of disputes involving the power of the executive branch that were headed to the federal district court of appeals, and that court was philosophically evenly divided. Fearing that the courts would curtail their power, the Obama-Biden team schemed to add three left leaning judges to the district court of appeals. They sought to guarantee that the executive branch would win all legal challenges.”

The fact that Biden has been involved in what looks like court packing in the past, should concern every American.  If he is allowed back into the White House, and his party gains control of the Senate, he could very likely abolish the filibuster in order to push through a Roosevelt-type scheme to politicize and pack  the Supreme Court.

Catherine Mortensen is the Vice President of Communications at Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of her articles at www.DailyTorch.com. 

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: THE TRUE IMPACT OF VIRTUAL LEARNING ON OUR FAMILIES AND OUR FUTURE

By Catherine Mortensen

This morning, my son, a high school senior doing virtual learning, texted me, “I didn’t get out of bed for first period.” I replied, “Yikes!” To which he shot back, “It’s okay, I just did the class from bed.”

This cannot be a thing! Kids should not be going to school from their beds!

A few hours later, a friend on Facebook posted: “I’m totally winning at this parenting thing! I slept through my alarm and logged onto my son’s calendar time right as they were saying goodbye to everybody. So, he got marked tardy for today. And then I was trying to help my daughter with her math, but I don’t know the current math jargon, so I wasn’t able to explain it without making her cry. It’s only 11:00 am. This is going to be a stellar day.”

Another girlfriend posted in a Facebook group dedicated to reopening schools: “I went in to check on my 9th grader because she was yelling at her class – well it was at her computer. She was in tears telling me she was going to have to drop out or fail because there are too many tabs, and too much technology, and she doesn’t understand where she is supposed to find all her work. She said she asked for help but got kicked out of the group and couldn’t get back on and when she tried to talk to the teacher, they couldn’t hear her. ‘I can’t turn it in because I can’t find it. I can’t understand it when I do find it. Why can’t they just give me a sheet of work to do, I can do that, but I can’t do this computer stuff. It’s going to kill me.’ And I’ve been in tears since.”

Another friend, a therapist who works with youth, said all of her patient visits are done remotely and many of the young people she visits with online are home alone. “Yesterday I spoke to a 12-year old patient who is home with three younger siblings,” she said.

Whether parents are home, at work, or working from home, virtual learning is not working for anyone.

A parent at the office cannot fully focus on their job because they are worried about their child at home. Similarly, it is difficult for a parent to productively work from home if they have children who need help.

In the short term the schools closures and larger economic shut down resulted in a 37 percent drop in non-farm worker output from May to July and nation’s economy contracting by 31.7 percent in the second quarter.

With the economy now on the rebound, those losses appear to be temporary, however, scholars from The Brookings Institution looked into the long-term consequences of virtual learning and it’s not good.  From the COVID-19 cost of school closures report finding “lost earnings of $1,337 per year per student: a present value loss of earnings of $33,464 (63 percent of a year’s salary at current average wage rates)… [and] a look at the impact on the whole of the country is much more sobering. In this model, the cost to the United States in future earnings of four months of lost education is $2.5 trillion—12.7 percent of annual GDP… Extrapolating to the global level, on the basis that the U.S. economy represents about one-quarter of global output, these data suggest the world could lose as much as $10 trillion over the coming generation as a result of school closures today.”

The human and economic costs of virtual learning are real. Our kids are losing years right now. By ignoring them we are placing our future in peril — and the cost may be more than we can bear.

Catherine Mortensen is the Vice President of Communications at Americans for Limited Government.  You can read more of her articles at www.DailyTorch.com. 

JOSE ARMANDO RESENDIZ, THE NEXT 365 MILLION DOLLAR MAN?

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE

Jose Armando Resendiz is only 21 years old with movie star looks, an outstanding amateur record (71-2), and decorated background, including 2015  Mexican Olympiad gold medal, 2016 National Olympiad bronze medal, 2017 National Olympiad gold medal, and 2017 Mexican Olympic Festival gold medal winner. 
In 2018, Resendiz turned pro at 19 yrs old,  and now enjoys a perfect (11-0) record as a professional.  Boxing experts say he has the potential to mirror one of boxing’s top draws, fellow Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Alvarez signed a $365 million, eleven fight deal with DAZN in 2018.
Mike Borao, an attorney and one of boxing’s top agents, is pursuing Resendiz aggressively.  He stated, “I know everyone in boxing is trying to sign Resendiz, and that’s OK.  In my opinion, Resendiz has the pedigree and style to become one of the great Mexican icons revered by boxing fans around the world.  Hopefully, I have a chance to participate in what promises to a spectacular career.”
Currently, the biggest star in the sport is Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez has generated some of the largest PPV numbers and live gates in recent history.  Although in a heavily publicized dispute with his promoter, Alvarez is unquestionably boxing’s number one attraction.
If the reports and comparisons to Alvarez coming out of Mexico are true, young Resendiz looks poised to one day make the Forbes 100 list of richest athletes, just like his compatriot.

Daniel Sonninshine is an Empire State News staff writer, who is in search of greatness. A 20-something smart fellow, he is now lifting weights in an effort to obtain more power. If that doesn’t work, he will ask to write more editorials for Empire State News and less fact articles. He also dabbles in film reviews. Favorite flicks include The Godfather, Blazing Saddles, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Passion of the Christ.

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WHY SHUTTING DOWN SOCIETY AND FORCED MASK-WEARING IS NOT ONLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL BUT EMBRACED BY THE UNINFORMED, THE STUPID AND/OR THE EVIL

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

Forced mask-wearing is a massive blunder, at minimum. At maximum, it has been an evil endeavor. This two minute and thirty second video, from a medical doctor, in and of itself, destructs the false assertion that masks prevent either (1) the mask wearer from spreading the coronavirus; and (2) others from getting the coronavirus from those wearing masks. WATCH IT. Your eyes will not deceive you. The doctor puts on every type of mask available and demonstrates, with complete, unadulterated certainty, that aerosols (i.e., the particles that make up the coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses) not only are not blocked by the masks, but that they seamlessly go through the masks. The vape he utilizes to prove this phenomenon (which already had been proven through numerous scientific studies over the last few decades) has the same size or LARGER particles than the coronavirus.

Anyone who watches this video and still claims that masks prevent the spreading of the coronavirus is either a total idiot or an evil liar with a political agenda.  I choose to believe that most people are neither “total idiots” or “evil liars.” I choose to believe that most people have just been uniformed; they have listened to falsehoods at the mouths of manipulating media, puppetry pundits, and prickly politicos—and they haven’t done their own research. Alas, I – and many others – have done the research. The aforementioned video is just one of hundreds of videos, studies, documents, and interviews that I reviewed and considered. Please READ THIS ARTICLE that I authored – MASKS ‘R US: MEDICAL FACTS SAY OTHERWISE – which explains, in comprehensive detail (and with mega factual support), that masks do not prevent the spreading of the coronavirus.

The mask-wearing compulsion is an ultimate unconstitutional act of politico control. It is part of an overall illicit effort to conform our precious democracy into a socialist (really, communist) society. The goal is to make everyone be “the same.” Take away people’s identities, while making them squirm in fear.

                                                                                                                    UNCONSTITUTIONAL STAY AT HOME & SHUTDOWN ORDERS

As a purely factual matter, the death rate of the coronavirus has turned out to be less than the flu. I – and several other rational people in the media, political world, and general public – have been saying this for months. It is, however, a disease that should be taken seriously, just the same as the flu. With that said, there was no justification whatsoever for the radical fear-mongering. Likewise, there was no justification whatsoever for the state-mandated stay at home/work and school closure/social distancing measures (the “Dictatorial Dictates”).

In legal terms, the Dictatorial Dictates are unconstitutional. They violate the First, Fifth and Eighth Amendments. And they are in direct contravention of the separation of powers conscription of the United States Constitution. Americans’ most fundamental rights of freedom have been obliterated. Freedom of Assembly has been stripped. Freedom of Speech, thereby, has been gravely restricted. Freedom of Religion has been nullified. The basic God-given right to move about freely has been wholly tainted by an unholy tampering.

The Dictatorial Dictates completely crushed America’s economy. The orders resulted in over 20 million citizens losing their jobs. Every facet of the economy has been under siege.

Most saliently, medical and scientific data has, at this point, unequivocally, proven that the number of deaths caused by the Dictatorial Dictates already is – and will continue to be – greater than the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus itself.  The Dictatorial Dictates are causing deaths to Americans from the following:

(1) increased mental illness and stress that have manifested into lethal physical conditions;

(2) people who have been completely unable to visit with their physicians because of restraints put on the doctors;

(3) people who are unable to visit, in-person, with their physicians because certain doctors are only consulting with patients, regarding certain health issues, via online video;

(4) people who are too afraid to leave their homes to visit with their physicians or go to the hospital;

(5) the abolition of crucial elective surgeries (e.g., for joint replacements and brain surgeries);

(6) the restriction of certain kinds of vital routine doctor visits (e.g., for tumors and mammograms);

(7) increased suicide;

(8) increased drug usage and overdoses;

(9) increased alcohol abuse;

(10) increased domestic violence;

(11) increased lethargy and obesity; and

(12) increased poverty.

The Dictatorial Dictates are unsustainable. They are unwanted, en masse – by the vast majority of Americans. The politicians who have enacted these diabolical measures (wittingly or unwittingly) have an obligation to listen to their constituents and immediately cease and desist from their further propounding of them. It is, indeed, these elected officials’ absolute duty to repeal the Dictatorial Dictates immediately – and in full.

The evidence, at this point, is undeniable.

There are FACTS.

There is SCIENCE.

There is MATH.

Even with all the censorship by certain mainstream media, big tech, and politicos, it is still easy to find all of the above-referenced facts, science, and data via internet searches and watching/hearing/reading much in the media. Below are links to just samples of the concrete factual evidence:

Many Medical Experts Were Against Lockdowns, the Media Just Didn’t Want Us to Know

Death By Policy: Mortality Statistics Show That Many People Have Died from Lockdown-Related Causes, Not From Covid-19

The Truth About Lockdowns

Suicide Deaths Higher Than COVID-19 Deaths Amid Lockdown, CDC Chief Warns

The Lockdown is Killing Thousands

Odds of Dying from COVID-19 – COVID Fatality Rate

Getting realistic about the coronavirus death rate

The coronavirus, definitively, has not warranted the imposition of any of the Dictatorial Dictates – not now, and not ever.

President Trump, who has been a pillar of rationale during the hysteria created by the Dictatorial Dictates, has examined the evidence presented by a plethora of leading medical doctors and scientists – not just the wild opinions of a few – to reach valid conclusions that can lead the nation out of an unnecessary crazed panic (and economic, constitutional, and non-coronavirus health crises caused by the Dictatorial Dictates). Several governors and state leaders have followed suit and eliminated or greatly minimized freedom-restricting orders in their states, returning to the constitutionally-required normality. All of the state governments should now put politics aside and disregard past decisions (some made by power-hungry evildoers, others made mistakenly in good faith) that led to the incorrectly-leveled Dictatorial Dictates. Although all definitively must abide by new laws restricting their constitutional rights (just as they must follow any other laws with which they may disagree), the government should quickly eliminate all remaining Dictatorial Dictates, as they are not justified by facts, science, medicine, or the law…All in government should follow the President’s lead in completely opening America back up.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/commercial litigation attorney for 25 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases; he is partner in the prestigious law firm, Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks (Newsmax, Fox News, i24 News) who has appeared on hundreds of shows, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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WHEN LETHAL FORCE IS LEGAL AND MORAL

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

The defining standard in law for determining whether lethal force is legally justified is as follows: if a person has a reasonable belief that his life (or another’s) is in jeopardy, he can use lethal force to protect his own life or another’s life. This legal standard is also the same moral standard. It is natural law. It is an inherent right of justice. It is a right of self-defense that pertains to all people; it is not just applicable to the profession of law enforcement…Was lethal force justified in the Kenosha, WI shooting? At this point, we do not have enough information to reach a conclusion because politicians are withholding evidence as a part of a diabolical scheme to further the civil unrest occurring in cities throughout the U.S. Here’s what we do know:

The police lawfully responded to a call related to alleged domestic violence. They encountered the suspect, Jacob Blake, who they apparently had probable cause to arrest. Blake violently resisted arrest. He had told the police officers that he had a knife in his car. He quickly rushed into his car, reaching for something. It is unclear from the videos what items were in the immediate vicinity in the area of the vehicle where he was reaching. A police officer shot him several times. A knife was later recovered under a floorboard in the vehicle. Blake has a substantial criminal history, including violent crimes and sex crimes.

Does the fact that Blake – an individual with a violent criminal history – violently resisted arrest legally (or morally) justify the police officer using lethal force?

Absolutely not…Why?…Because such would not lead a person to have a reasonable belief that his life (or another’s) was in jeopardy.

In adding to the equation that Blake told the police that he had a knife in his car – plus that he quickly rushed to the car and reached in – do those cumulative facts render a reasonable belief that a person’s life is in jeopardy?…Perhaps (depending upon what additional evidence may exist)…First, the obvious: it’s wholly logical that any normal-thinking person, under those very specific circumstances, would form a reasonable conclusion that Blake was reaching for the knife. Given that particular police officer’s very close proximity to Blake, he could have quickly and easily been stabbed to death. That said, should the officer have been that close to Blake? Should he have let Blake run to the car and stepped back, wherein he was at such a distance that Blake could not immediately stab him (thus removing the possibility that his life was in danger from a knife)? Those questions seem plausible, but a quick analysis renders the following rational conclusions:

In the balancing test, the police officer should, indeed, have followed Blake to the car for not only his own protection, but the protection of the other police officers on site and, more so, all of the civilian bystanders. In that moment, if he had let Blake go into the car unchecked, several terrible things could have occurred (by this known man with a violent criminal history, who had violently resisted arrest – and who had told police he had a knife in the vehicle). Blake could have grabbed that knife and came out quickly slashing (at one of many people) and stabbed someone before police could subdue him. Worse, who is to say that a knife is the only weapon he had in the car? Although it turned out that no other weapon was found, any logical-thinking person would conclude that this individual could have had a gun as well. Accordingly, under the totality of the circumstances, it was not only lawful for the police officer to follow Blake to the car and attempt to stop him from entering, but it was the right choice as well. But does this all mean that he was ultimately justified in shooting Blake?

Is knowing that a man (1) with a violent criminal history; (2) who was violently resisting arrest; (3) who told police he has a knife in the car; and (4) who quickly rushes into the car to grab something – enough factors for the officer to use lethal force? Do the totality of those circumstances – without any additional factors – result in a person having a reasonable belief that his life (or another’s) is in jeopardy, where he is justified to shoot to kill? While it is understandable that the police officer would, naturally, be frightened in that circumstance, the answer is “no.” The police officer had the legal right to follow Blake to the car, to try to stop him from entering the car, and to try to prevent him from grabbing something in it. However, if there were no indicia that he was reaching for a knife, gun, or other deadly weapon, then the police officer was not justified in shooting him.

All that said, no one yet knows if the police officer saw something that a reasonable person would believe was a deadly weapon. If it turns out that this one additional piece of evidence exists (which it may), then the police officer would have had a reasonable belief that his life (or another’s) was in jeopardy and, thus, the shooting was justified. For example, if, in Blake’s immediate reach was that knife (or something that looked like a knife or gun at a quick glance) then, under all of those circumstances, the police officer would have that reasonable belief. It should be noted that it is irrelevant – both legally and morally – if the item turned out to be harmless (e.g., a flashlight or cell phone). As tragic as it is – IF – under the totality of those circumstances, a person reasonably concluded that the flashlight/cell phone was a lethal weapon, then the shooting would be justified…And there is other additional evidence that could have made the shooting justified.

What if while Blake was rushing to the car, he said something to the extent of that “I’m getting that knife and killing you” or “I’m grabbing my gun and blowing someone’s head off” or one of many similar terroristic threats? Under the totality of the circumstances, where there is a man (1) with a violent criminal history; (2) who was violently resisting arrest; (3) who told police he has a knife in the car;  (4) who quickly rushes into the car to grab something – PLUS who reaches for something that a reasonable person believe looks like a deadly weapon and/or who simultaneously threatens to use a deadly weapon to kill someone – is that enough to render a reasonable belief that the officer’s life (or another’s life) is in jeopardy? The answer is “yes” – of course it does…Please note the fact that Blake was shot in his back is obviously irrelevant in this analysis. Where else would he be shot under these circumstances? If a person had a reasonable belief that he was grabbing a deadly weapon under these specific circumstances, the back is exactly where he would be justifiably shot; if not, he could have quickly and easily turned around with the deadly weapon and killed the officer or another person.

But…

No one knows, yet, if either of those above-described additional factors exist. If they do exist, the shooting was justifiable (legally and morally) self-defense. If they do not exist, then the shooting was not justifiable because, under all the circumstances, he would not have held the requisite reasonable belief that his life (or another’s) was in jeopardy. In such a case, he would be guilty of an aggravated assault; if Blake had died, the police officer would be guilty of involuntary manslaughter or manslaughter because the killing would be a reckless act.

Why race has been brought into this matter is mind-boggling. There is ZERO evidence that the police officer’s actions in this matter – lawful or not – were rooted in racism. Any rational – and honest – person would conclude that the officer would have acted in the exact same manner if Blake was brown, white, yellow, black, red, etc—because there is nothing to indicate otherwise. I have written multiple highly-researcher articles where I provide the FACTS and STATISTICS showing that there is absolutely NO evidence that police shootings are grounded in racial intent; the few unlawful police shootings are rooted in power abuse which is race-blind (see another article of mine, Power Abuse, Not Racism, Is the Cause of Unlawful Killings; Race-Baiters Making Wrongful Accusations Against Entire Law Enforcement Community, if you are interested in the truth)…Plastic elected officials, muddled mainstream media, and the intellectually devoid at educational institutions are, with evil, agenda-driven intent, exploiting certain, hand-picked shootings and attempting to propagandize the public (the real people) into believing falsehoods. Their goal is a frightening, unsavory one of seeking separatism and divide; it is one designed to perpetuate a race war. This is a fictitious race war: and that is because the vast, vast majority of Americans (including police officers) are NOT racists. That said, there is, of course, racism that exists in all people (of all races) – and in equal amounts. All of it is to be condemned. Let’s jointly condemn it and, at the same time, not allow the race-baiters to succeed in their propaganda.

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Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/commercial litigation attorney for 25 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases; he is partner in the prestigious law firm, Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks who has appeared on hundreds of shows, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

ALL-AROUND STAR ATHLETE NICOL PAONE TRANSFORMING INTO ALL-AROUND CINEMA STAR WITH RELEASE OF FRIENDSGIVING

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE,

In the midst of multitudes of hysterical people – some states with more, some states with less – comes a holiday movie that creates just a bit more hysteria. This hysteria, though, is through the pen and lens of a versatile, if not highly-talented, thespian turned writer/director—in the form of the very welcomed comedic feature film Friendsgiving. Due to be released on October 23, Friendsgiving is a holiday flick starring some Hollywood favorite ladies including Malin Akerman, Jane Seymour, and Kat Dennings; one of its producers is Ben Stiller. The mastermind (i.e., the aforementioned writer/director) of this frenetic, very funny upcoming cinematic offering is Nicol Paone, a born and bred Lyndhurst, New Jersey woman.

A 1989 graduate of the now-closed Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, a small middle-class municipality just one locale south of her hometown, Paone actually is much more than a thespian turned writer/director. At Queen of Peace, she was a superstar athlete, serving as one of the Garden State’s best soccer and softball players. She also successfully played the latter sport all four of her collegiate years. And if that wasn’t enough, Paone earned her way to an alternate spot on the U.S. Olympic handball team.

After her university graduation, she quickly moved from the sports world to the film and television industry. Paone acted in sizable roles in multiple independent films, including Pride & Loyalty (a crime thriller that stars multiple Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees) and Rules For Men (a wild comedy starring nearly every major player from “The Howard Stern Show” and other iconic comedians). Although Paone helped adapt Pride & Loyalty from its best-selling suspense novel to its screenplay, her career turned more in the direction of the other referenced film; meaning, she went more toward comedy.

The former standout athlete hustled her way to a network series regular role. For several seasons, Paone stood out as one of the primary actors on Logo’s “The Big Gay Sketch Show.” During that stint, a time period from 2006 – 2010, Paone also served as a producer for several of the show’s episodes. Her television work also includes appearances on varied series, including “Trophy Wife”, “30 Rock”, “Throwing Shade”, and “The Adventures of Delores Briggam.”

Turning back to film, Paone nabbed her biggest break in having one of her own screenplays – Friendsgiving – selected to be produced into a sizable Hollywood-style motion picture. If that wasn’t enough, she was afforded the opportunity to direct the movie and the star-studded cast assembled by its producers, who include Haroon Saleem and Nicholas Weinstock in addition to Stiller and actress Akerman.

The IMDB synopsis of the film provides:

“Molly and Abbey, along with their crew of close friends and acquaintances, host a dysfunctional, comical and chaotic Thanksgiving dinner.”

That summary, however, doesn’t adequately address the obvious hilarity of the movie, which can be notably seen in the movie’s trailer.

With crisp cinematography, quick-moving editing, all-around dynamic acting from some very funny people – not to mention witty, smart writing and edgy helming with the right comedic timing from Paone – Friendsgiving appears, from its trailer, to have all the stuffing and trimmings necessary for an outstanding holiday treat. This, surely, is something needed in today’s hysterical environment; it’s just a different, better kind of “hysterical.”

All said, the superstar athlete from Lyndhurst, NJ may now be becoming a superstar filmmaker in Los Angels, CA. At minimum, she’s done something that the vast majority of writers/directors/actors will never do: she’s made a fine movie with some great talent.

Daniel Sonninshine is an Empire State News staff writer, who is in search of greatness. A 20-something smart fellow, he is now lifting weights in an effort to obtain more power. If that doesn’t work, he will ask to write more editorials for Empire State News and less fact articles. He also dabbles in film reviews. Favorite flicks include The Godfather, Blazing Saddles, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Passion of the Christ.

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MASKS ‘R US: MEDICAL FACTS SAY OTHERWISE

By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO

Fearmongers – comprised of plastic politicians, the misinformation mainstream media, Hollywood hoaxsters, and so-called academic elites – have orchestrated an organized effort to make people believe that the wearing of masks, in public places, is necessary in the battle against the coronavirus. Their fraudulent posturing, however, is not grounded in any science or medicine; contrary to their propaganda, the vast majority of medical doctors and scientists state that masks do, literally, nothing to protect wearers from being infected with COVID-19. A simple, thorough Google search will result in easily obtaining this uniform, critical information.

The proposed mask-wearing mandate is so farcical that even the government’s propounded chief epidemiologist expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told the public, on March 8, that masks do almost zero – anyone can watch his refutation of masks commentary here in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview, where he affirmatively said, “There is no reason to be walking around with a mask.” It is indeed correct that Dr. Fauci, like in so many other matters, later reversed himself. His reversal, however, is quite notable in that he specifically stated, in this NBC News TV appearance, “Early on, when we were in a situation in which there was a real concern about the lack of personal protective equipment on the part of the health providers who needed it who put themselves in harm’s way every day to take care of people who were ill with this virus that we were thinking we would run out of masks and other things for them so the recommendation was not to wear a mask because of the shortage of it…”

Dr. Fauci, accordingly, has told the American public that on March 8 (when he proclaimed “There is no reason to be walking around with a mask”), he actually thought that masks were necessary for all people–but that he hid such from Americans because he didn’t want a mask shortage for medical personnel to occur? This clear-cut contradiction renders a complete lack of credibility in his words about masks. It’s not as if the doctor claimed that he later learned something “new” about mask-wearing; rather, he simply told America that he, initially, purposefully provided inaccurate information…Whoa…The bottom line: the wearing of masks, obviously, cannot, in reality, be necessary in Dr. Fauci’s view. If they were truly needed, would the country’s top government-employed epidemiologist – a man who appears to be a good human being – actually advise the masses that masks do almost nothing and are unnecessary? Nah, the in-your-face reality is that he, simply, believes what he told everyone on March 8–that masks are not needed.

More so, nearly every non-government doctor (i.e., doctors who are not involved in politics) have refuted the notion that masks assist in protecting the wearers from contracting the coronavirus. The masks have the same effect against the coronavirus as they do for the flu and other diseases that are transmitted from person-to-person. The coronavirus and the flu should both be taken seriously. That said, Americans do not, and should not, don face masks because of the existence of the flu (or other similar viruses prevalent in society). Likewise, Americans should not be compelled to strap face coverings across their heads because of the coronavirus, a disease that, factually, has turned out to have a lower death rate than the flu. The detriments in wearing face masks far supersede any purported benefit in the compulsion of wearing them.

Aside from the overwhelming medical and scientific data that face masks do not act to inhibit wearers from contracting COVID-19, it is vital to explain that face masks cause many people to suffer debilitating symptoms and to be infected with other diseases that are at least equally problematic to human beings as the coronavirus. A significant percentage of people wearing face masks become disoriented, confused, and fatigued; and many are allergic to the masks. They suffer from dehydration, and, most palpably, they are continually breathing in excessive amounts of their own carbon dioxide, which, so obviously, creates health problems. These detrimental health issues caused by individuals being forced to wear masks have been documented by voluminous, unbiased physicians and scientists, wherein examples of such reports (and examples of reports that show the ineffectiveness of face masks) can be found in the below articles, videos and TV appearances:

Doctor Uses Vape to Show How Masks Don’t Work

Masks are Neither Effective Nor Safe: A Summary of the Science

Reality Check with Ben Swann: The Science Behind Why Face Masks Don’t Work

River City Reader – Masks Don’t Work: A Review of Science Relevant to COVID-19 Social Policy – by Denis Rancourt, Ph.D, a former professor at University of Ottawa and current researcher at Ontario Civil Liberties Association:

LivingwitnessTV.com – 7 Long Term Side Effects of Wearing Face Masks – this video encapsulates information first provided by MSN.com:

London Real – Why You Shouldn’t Wear Facemasks: Media Misinformation Will Make People Sick – by Dr. Rashid Buttar

Laura Ingraham on The Ingraham Angle on Fox News Channel

Very sadly, the confounding dubious activities of the plastic politicians, the misinformation mainstream media, Hollywood hoaxsters, so-called academic elites – and mindless social media warriors – have fruited in otherwise thoughtful, intelligent people believing that masks are a benefit. The factual scientific data, ultimately, should lead such individuals away from the propaganda-wielding politicos and back to rationale. The agenda of the politicos is one that is simply rooted in their underlying namesake, to wit, “politics.” Beyond all else, it is unnerving that, like multiple times in nefarious history, when politicos sought to “mark” their populations with a symbol or item, all said populations succumbed to being ruled over by dictatorships.

A summary in layman’s terms:

Masks are not only unnecessary, but they are detrimental to people’s health – and they are awful scary.

Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/commercial litigation attorney for 25 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases; he is partner in the prestigious law firm, Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.”  A regular legal and political  analyst on the major news networks who has appeared on hundreds of shows, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper. 

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10TH AMENDMENT IS GUIDING IN TODAY’S CRAZINESS AND ALWAYS

By TEMPLE LI

As many states’ governors have turned the 10th amendment on its head, asserting states rights in an undeniably reckless manner, in handing down stay at home and other liberty-limiting orders in the Covid-19 crisis, it is a good time to evaluate the usual issues that arise via the use/misuse of this often forgotten constitutional provision. Although in today’s strange world liberals are invoking the 10th Amendment’s tenets (ordinarily, they are all for an expansive federal government and attempt to shirk valid 10th Amendment arguments), conservatives have been the longstanding proponents of states’ rights.

There is a 13-letter Latin motto, used on the Great Seal of the U.S., representing the 13 original states uniting under one government—“out of many, one.” It is instructive

Fast forward to 2020, 50 states and the District of Columbia in chaos and crisis, hardly united under a corrupt political system of politicians, many of whom have remained in the government far too long for the purpose of personal profit, financial gain and power grabs.  Fifty states are at lager heads with the government and among themselves on major issues which affect the moral fiber of our country, failing to find common ground and reach any consensus.   This is clearly demonstrated by looking at the wide divide when it comes to policies on marijuana, sanctuary cities and abortion.

The country is currently facing a major opioid epidemic, which has grown over the last 20 years since “pain” became the 5th vital sign.  Proponents of medical marijuana usage would have you believe that is a substitute for opioids in relieving pain.  According to the Missouri State Medical Association in their May-June, 2018 Journal of Missouri Medicine, marijuana is a companion drug to opioids and does not result in the decrease of opioid usage.  In 2017, Colorado reported a record number of deaths from opioids, including heroin; yet they have had a medical marijuana program in place since 2001. The current body of evidence supporting cannabis as a treatment for pain is based on 28 studies comprised of 68 reports and 2,554 patients.  Contradictory evidence based on the study of 33,000 people demonstrates that cannabis contributes to opioid overdosing.

Regardless of your belief as to marijuana medicinal attributes, it is abundantly clear that both the medical and recreational use of marijuana have substantially increased the coffers of those states where it is legalized.  In California, with a state tax of 15% on marijuana as both a recreational and medical drug, the state boasts $2.75 billion in sales.  Given that kind of revenue it is understandable that state legislatures would turn a blind eye to any body of evidence which support the negative results of marijuana usage. Despite many states’ acceptance of cannabis for medical use and others for recreational use as well, under federal law, it is still illegal and treated as any other controlled substance, including heroin and cocaine.   According to a map developed by DISA Global studies, twelve states currently have laws making marijuana illegal; 28 states have legalized marijuana for medical use and 13 of these states have reduced penalties related to its recreational use, while 11 states have fully legalized cannabis both for recreational and medical use.

What about “sanctuary” cities?  Those cities, counties and states which have polices and laws preventing local and state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with Federal agents related to the harboring of illegal immigrants are considered as “sanctuaries” for these aliens.  This then makes it more difficult for the Federal government to enforce immigration laws; often results in harm caused to American citizens and encourages the continued influx of illegal immigrants into the U.S.  According to CNN Politics, 6/14/2018, currently, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee have banned sanctuary cities, while California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington are pro sanctuary states.

Finally, abortion, which through Roe vs Wade, a legal decision made in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court striking down a Texas law banning abortion, made this procedure legal in the United States  and protected under Federal law.  However, according to a Marist Poll taken in mid-February, 2019, equal numbers of those polled—47% each– were pro-life or supported abortion.  This was a dramatic difference from the same poll done in early January which showed 55% were pro-abortion and 38% pro-life.  According to Barbara Carvalho, poll director, in media release from the Knight of Columbus, the poll sponsor, “current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced, and very measurable, way,” Additionally, the poll reported “that among Democrats, the gap between people who identify as pro-life and those who support abortion was cut in half from 55 percent to 27 percent. The number of Democrats who identify as pro-life stood at 34 percent, up from 20 percent in January. Similarly the number of Democrats who said they support abortion fell to 61 percent from 75 percent.”  According to NPR, nine states have passed laws to outlaw abortion—Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia—while nine state have passed laws with no limits on abortion– Illinois, Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Vermont, along with D.C.

E Pluribus Unum?  Hardly!

Temple Li is the news editor for Empire State News, where she frequently authors her own editorials (just because she feels like it). She graduated at the top of her class at a mediocre college, infuriating her professors with her conservative wit and sultry charm. Empire State News allows Ms. Li to make a living, and to have a platform to tell people what she thinks. What could be better than that?

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