In the ongoing saga of Atilis Gym of Bellmawr, NJ and Governor Murphy, the latest claim by the gym's owner is frightening. Now, most of you have already made up your mind about Ian Smith, co-owner of the now famous gym in South Jersey. If you're conservative, he's a brave patriot who's standing up for his most basic right to make a living. If you're a progressive, he's a reckless hotshot who deserves whatever he gets for defying the law. He claims on his Facebook page that the Governor has wiped out his bank account and seized his remaining assets of $165,000 to pay for fines the state has imposed for keeping his business open.

This is being done while they are fighting the state in court to resolve their legal issues. Smith said that they've recorded over 105K visits with no reported cases of COVID-19, so they're clearly not a public health threat. Quite the opposite. People stay healthy by working out. One of the issues being ignored in this pandemic, is how so many people who have gotten sick from COVID and many that have died, were not in the best of health.

This blatant government power play should disturb and frighten all of us, that this can happen to hard working independent business people. How could one person have the power to crush individuals who are safely and carefully operating a legal business should be made an example of? To make sure that none of the rest of us dare to defy the dictator. What's even scarier than a tyrant like Murphy, is the fact that so many people in New Jersey just go along with, and even applaud it. Murphy can come across as the calm and concerned executive, family guy, but behind that scary, uncomfortable smile is an even scarier totalitarian streak that is playing out before our eyes.

A bill to put the power of the state government back in the hands of our representatives has failed to go to a vote twice last year. The bill would have allowed the legislature to vote on extending any executive orders every 14 days, to put the power back where is should be. Again, with not many New Jerseyans seeming to be very concerned, that too is disturbing. For that you can blame a combination of fear, apathy, and ignorance as much as you can blame Murphy.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis's own.

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