Archive for October 16th, 2010

An excellent essay dealing with the times that we live in.

October 16, 2010

Every so often, someone, somewhere writes so eloquently that it is difficult to comprehend just how they did it. What follows are snips, be sure to follow the link to the entire essay.

FULL STORY HERE.

On Feb. 7, 2009, the cover of Newsweek magazine proclaimed, “We Are All Socialists Now.” Since then, much has transpired, including the sale of Newsweek (the business entity) to the highest bidder for $1. Now, 1 1/2 years later, a more poignant cover story might be “We Are All Tea Partiers Now.”

The Tea Party is the leading edge of a “Great Awakening” in America. In many ways, it appears to have the force and vitality of one of the religious awakenings that have occurred throughout our nation’s history. It is more than a populist movement. It is more than a reactionary group expressing voter dissatisfaction and anger. It can’t be boiled down to election results. It will not be co-opted neatly by the Republican Party. It is something much, much bigger.

The Tea Party movement represents a resounding declaration of the end of big, overreaching government.

~snip~

The Tea Party movement represents a resounding declaration of the end of big, overreaching government.

Our nation is in the grip of an overwhelming, seemingly inescapable malaise, not because our government hasn’t done enough for us, but because it has tried to do too much. Over the decades, “government” has mutated into “big government,” and its weight is killing us. Recent massive efforts to stimulate the economy or save certain sectors of it through increased government intervention and spending, far from helping us, have only added to the fog of uncertainty and oppression.

Washington’s presumed role of always knowing what is best for every aspect of our lives is over. One by one, people are waking up and realizing that perhaps they know what is best for themselves, their families, their local communities and their states. The Tea Party movement is not just an expression of disfavor with how things get done in government. It is the promise of a tectonic shift of decentralization and reduction of government.

~snip~

For more than 200 years, the United States has been a repository of the most incredible truth in the world about man’s desire for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and how to secure these as a nation. In some ways, this truth has been in a deep freeze just as a steak might safely be saved in your freezer at home. If you offer a frozen steak to a hungry guest, it’s of no practical use to him. But if you put that steak on the grill with a fire under it, suddenly the fat starts to sizzle, the juices begin to run, and you begin to smell the aroma of the roasting meat. That steak becomes enticing to the hungry person. The Tea Party movement is the vehicle, the tiny match, by which the fire is lit under old truths so that even those who have never given a thought to their unalienable personal rights and the role of government now have a voracious hunger to experience these truths in their own lives.

~snip~

Many people now see that our nation is at a crossroads: Our personal liberties, economic prosperity and the place of the United States within the world are at risk. Their eyes have been opened to the reckless stewardship of the political class in Washington, which, by creating an ever-growing government with massive, unsustainable entitlements, sweeping unintelligible legislative reforms and volume after volume of free-market-choking regulations, has charted this ill-fated course toward its progressive vision for America.

~snip~

For the past year and a half, the media and other detractors have dedicated themselves to snuffing out the Tea Party movement through tactics of mockery, dismissiveness and false accusations. From Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi insinuating that grass-roots protesters at town-hall meetings last summer were Nazis to President Obama using mocking sexual innuendo, calling the Tea Partiers “tea baggers”; from the unsubstantiated claims of Tea Party violence and racism during health care reform protests on Capitol Hill in March to the NAACP’s unwarranted charge of Tea Party racism to the constant drone of politicos and pundits about Tea Party extremism during the primary elections, the assault on the Tea Party has been relentless. If Tea Partiers were a protected class rather than a targeted one, most of the media, academia and political intelligentsia would be on trial for hate crimes.

~snip~

The Tea Party is more than an angry political movement, as it is frequently described. Something much deeper is going on here. It is a living expression of bedrock truth about humanity’s rights and our own human nature – that men and women have a yearning to be free and to self-govern while participating in and enjoying civil society.

My hats off in appreciation to Doug Manwaring.

Colorado Election : Positions concerning 2010 Statewide Ballot Initiatives

October 16, 2010

As directed by the Libertarian Party of Colorado Constitution, the Board of Directors has reviewed the 2010 amendments and propositions on the ballot for voter consideration.  There are seven proposed amendments to the Colorado Constitution and two propositions to change the Revised Statutes.

For the 2010 election, the Colorado “Blue Book” contains succinct summaries of each of these.  There are also pro and con websites and other information being provided in numerous information media outlets.
The Libertarian Party of Colorado consists of free thinkers and responsible voters who seek as much information as possible about the pros and cons of every voting decision they will make.  We believe every libertarian and other voters will make up their own minds based on their careful review of the issues.
The following are the Libertarian Party of Colorado positions concerning each of the 2010 Colorado initiatives.
Amendment P –Regulation of Games of Chance. The LPCO takes no position either way on this amendment.
Moves bingo and raffle licensing from Sec State to Dept of Revenue (or other designated by the state legislature).  In addition to time, energy, and money already expended on this change to existing law, there will be a onetime $116,000 expenditure from bingo and raffle license fees.
The amendment makes no significant changes to the Colorado Constitution or the long term financial situation of the State Government-
Amendment Q –Temp Location of State Seat of Government.  The LPCO recommends Yes on this amendment.
Currently there is no provision in the Colorado Constitution for convening of the State Government if a major disaster emergency were to make Denver unusable.  This amendment provides direction for the Governor and the Legislature to designate a temporary location for the seat of government.
Amendment R –Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property.  The LPCO recommends Yes on this amendment.
Eliminates property taxes for individuals and businesses that use government-owned property for a private benefit worth $6,000 or less in market value.
The fiscal effects of this amendment are relatively minor, but should increase the efficiency of local governments by reducing the costs of assessing and collecting minor amounts of property taxes from numerous small assessments.
Ammendment 60 –Concerning Property Taxes. The LPCO recommends a YES vote on this amendment.
Strengthens TABOR by adding a new section (10) to Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution.
-Requires audit and enforcement of this section.
-All owners of real property would be entitled to vote on all proposed property taxes affecting their property.
-Voters may petition to lower property taxes
-Property tax issues shall have November election notices separate from debt issues
-Property Tax bills list only property taxes and late charges
-Enterprise and authorities shall pay property taxes.  Lower mil-levy rates to offset income to taxing dist
-10 year expiration on property tax rate increases
-Extending expiring property taxes, is a tax increase
-Prior actions to keep excess property tax revenue are expired; future actions are tax increases expiring in 4 years.  Local governments and enterprises will have to make serious adjustments to their budgets and seek direct voter approval of property taxes on at least a four-year cycle.
-by 2020, non-college school districts phase out ½ of their 2011 property tax rate for operating expenses.  State aid replaces the revenue.  Shifts school operating costs to State general fund from local resources.
Amendment 61 –Limit State and Local Government Borrowing. The LPCO recommends YES on this amendment.
-Repeals existing Article XI Section 3 and re-enacts the original 1876 version of this section to read, “The state shall not contract any debt in any form.”
-Repeals Article XI Sections 4, 5, 6(2), and 6(3) as obsolete and superceded.
-Repeals and re-enacts Article XI Section 6(1) to require voter approval for local governments to contract debt.  Also requires ballot title to be specific.
-Adds further specific requirements concerning debt to Article X section 20(4)
–November Ballot approval
–10 year limit on new local debt
–borrowing can’t exceed 10% of assessed valuation
–Tax Rates must be reduced when borrowing is repaid
Amendment 62 Application of Term Person. The LPCO recommends NO on this amendment.
Would define person as at the beginning of biological development and entitled to full protection of Colorado law.
This is an effort to insert the State into the intensely personal decisions concerning the beginning of human life.  It would only further complicate already difficult decisions.
Amendment 63 -Health Care Choice. The LPCO recommends Yes on this amendment.
Adds Article II section 32 to make health care choice a constitutional right.  Prohibits the state from requiring a person to participate in health plans.  Restricts the state from limiting a person’s ability to make or receive direct payments for health services.  Exempts emergency treatment and Workers’ Compensation from this new right.
This is in response to the recently enacted Federal health care decrees.  It is unfortunately now necessary for Colorado to take a stand to protect individual and state rights associated with US Constitution Article I and Amendments 9 and 10.
Proposition 101 -Income, Vehicle, and Telecommunication Taxes and Fees.  The LPCO recommends YES on this Proposition.
-Reduces state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.5% in 2011 and then over time to 3.5%.
-reduces and eliminates vehicle taxes and fees over next 4 years.
-eliminates all state and local taxes on telecommunications service, except 911 fees
-requires voter approval to for future vehicle and telecomm fees.
-Proposition 102 –Criteria for Release to Pretrial Services Programs.  The LPCO recommends NO on this proposition.
Adds requirements to Colorado Statutes to prohibit release of a defendant on an unsecured bond to pretrial services program unless it is a first offense and is nonviolent misdemeanor.
If passed this measure will reduce the ability of Judges to release those accused of crimes while awaiting trial.  Those unable to afford additional bonding expenses would remain in custody.  Additional total costs to the State are estimated at $2.8 million.
Retention of Colorado Supreme Court Judges.
For the 2010 November election, voters are asked to consider retention/non-retention of a number of Judges.  The LPCO encourages all voters to carefully consider each judge.
Several of the Citizen initiated amendments on the 2010 November Ballot are in response to Supreme Court decisions contrary to the intent of existing constitutional provisions.  The activist nature of the recent Colorado Supreme Court and it’s decisions appears to be more focused on predetermined outcomes rather than the Rule of Law.
-The LPCO recommends NO on each of the 3 Supreme Court Judges to be considered.
SOURCE:
Date: 12 Oct 10
From: LPCO Board of Directors
To:   Colorado Libertarians and interested Voters
Subj:  Libertarian Party of Colorado Positions concerning 2010 Statewide Ballot Initiatives.

Perhaps the LPCO has regained some semblance of sanity? Time will tell.


When orders from HQ change… Enviro whacko’s and Texas fights back!

October 16, 2010

Texas is firing back after the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would apply the 1970s clean air laws to carbon regulation and effectively seize permitting authority from states that don’t comply quickly enough. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA’s national office chooses priorities, but state regulators run the relevant programs and issue the necessary permits. When orders from HQ change, as with carbon over the last year, states get three years to revise their ‘implementation plans.’ But in August, [EPA Administrator Lisa] Jackson decided that the law posed too long a climate wait and decreed that if these plans aren’t updated by an arbitrary January 2011 deadline, her office will override the states and run the carbon permitting process itself.”

Given the EPA’s current lack of permitting resources, the Journal notes that this decision “is tantamount to a ban on major construction or building expansion — not merely Texan refineries but any kind of carbon-heavy utility, industrial production, manufacturing plant or even large office buildings.” Indeed, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality projects that the new regulations will end 167 current projects in 2011 alone. In response to Jackson’s fiat, the Lone Star State has filed a lawsuit with the DC appeals circuit, arguing the EPA went “beyond [its] powers” and is asking for an emergency stay of the new regulations.

The EPA itself admits that its actions “may have adverse consequences for the economy.” Of course, we’ve seen how little “adverse consequences” mean to an administration convinced that when it comes to federal bureaucracy, bigger is always better.

SOURCE

The First Amendment allows too much speech of the wrong sort..?

October 16, 2010

“‘The president was not suggesting any illegality,’ insisted White House Counsel Bob Bauer. In other words, when Obama said ‘one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign sources,’ he was not implying any connection between the ads and the money. He was just stringing sounds together randomly. … [I]t is of a piece with his frequent complaints that the First Amendment allows too much speech of the wrong sort. ‘If we just stand by and allow the special interests to silence anybody who’s got the guts to stand up to them,’ Obama said in his Maryland speech, ‘our country is going to be a very different place.’ What the ‘special interests’ are actually doing is speaking, and the president regrets that they have the freedom to do so. Who wants to silence whom?” –columnist Jacob Sullum

“We have a lousy Supreme Court decision that has opened up the floodgates, and so we have to deal within the realm of constitutionality. And a lot of the campaign finance bills that we have passed have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I think the Constitution is wrong. [emphasis added] I don’t think that money is the same thing as human beings. I don’t think money equals free speech. I don’t think corporations should have the same equality as a regular voter in this district.” –Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) on campaign-finance regulation and the January U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission

See the video and tell us what you think.

Democrats are in such dire straits headed into November’s elections that they’re resorting to outlandish fear mongering about foreign money influencing the campaign via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents 300,000 American businesses. Considering the Democrats’ record of cap ‘n’ tax legislation, financial sector regulations and the takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy, it’s no wonder they’re focusing on a non-issue such as the Chamber.

After a leftist blog reported that the Chamber had received $300,000 in annual dues from foreign companies, the Democrat National Committee ran an ad that warned, “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They’re shills for big business. And they’re stealing our democracy, spending millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress. It appears they even have taken secret foreign money to influence our elections. It’s incredible: Republicans benefiting from secret foreign money. Tell the Bush crowd and the Chamber of Commerce: Stop stealing our democracy!” And here we thought we lived in a republic.

CBS anchor Bob Schieffer played the ad for White House adviser David Axelrod and then asked, “If the only charge three weeks [before] the election that the Democrats have to make is that somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?” Yes, Bob, it is. Furthermore, Democrats have a long history of blaming opponents for engaging in all the dastardly practices they themselves have done for decades, a tactic right out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” (“pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”). Foreign money has been flowing to Democrat coffers, especially labor unions, for many election cycles. Yet the White House indicates that it will continue this theme for the next few weeks.

For the Chamber of Commerce to use foreign funds to pay for campaign ads would be a crime. Obama knows this, though it doesn’t stop him from calling the Chamber’s latest free-market advocacy campaign a “threat to democracy.” Joe Biden challenged the Chamber to “tell us how much of the money they’re investing is from foreign sources.” “None,” would be the answer. Even the “fake but accurate” New York Times reports, “[A] closer examination shows that there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents.”

Ever since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling overturned parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, Democrats have been looking for ways to repeal the First Amendment for businesses, and publicly demonizing the Chamber of Commerce and other faceless corporations is the first step. Whether it’s this pathetic episode, or Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) ordering investigations into tax-exempt groups for political activities, or Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threatening “zero tolerance” for health insurance companies blaming ObamaCare for increasing premium rates, Democrats have a plan. And there’s little “democratic” about it.

SOURCE

This is the best that the epic failure obama and crew can do..?

Denver Post endorsesClear The Bench Colorado!* sort of…

October 16, 2010

 

Denver Post endorsesClear The Bench Colorado!*

(*Well, sort of…  one editor (of 5 total), endorsing 2 out of 3 recommendations plus all of the analysis, pretty much adds up to one endorsement.  Fun with fractions!)

Contact Matt Arnold: director@clearthebenchcolorado.org or 303.995.5533.

 

On Wednesday October 13th, the Denver Post, in what is the closest thing to an official position on the three Colorado Supreme Court incumbents (justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, and Nancy Rice) seeking an additional 10-year term on this year’s ballot the newspaper is likely to take, endorsed two of the three recommendations advanced by Clear The Bench Colorado.

The editorial (“No clean sweep of justices“) endorsed the “compelling indictment of Michael Bender and Alex Martinez” but differed with Clear The Bench Colorado’s recommendation on Justice Rice.

Reasonable people can disagree on whether Justice Rice deserves another 10 years on the bench (CTBC’s analysis of her opinions in key constitutional cases shows a split result, leaning narrowly towards non-retention; Attorney General John Suthers had also earlier endorsed a “retain” vote on Justice Rice while advocating a “do not retain” vote on Justice Michael Bender and Justice Alex Martinez, as well).

Most importantly, the Denver Post editorial strongly complimented the Clear The Bench Colorado Evaluations of Judicial Performance analysis as a superior resource to the sham “Blue Book” reviews:

“In every election, voters go to the polls with virtually no knowledge of the judges up for retention – thanks to the nearly useless evaluations issued by the state’s judicial performance commission. So voters do owe Clear the Bench Colorado their thanks for actually offering substantive analysis.”

 

The ultimate responsibility – and authority – rests with the voters.  Clear The Bench Colorado urges all Colorado citizens to become informed about how the Colorado Supreme Court has aided and abetted assaults on their rights (and wallets!) with a consistent pattern of not following the Constitution where it doesn’t agree with their own personal agenda – and drawing the necessary and logical conclusions.

As a Citizen, you DO have the right to vote “NO” on these incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices as they seek an additional 10-year term this November.  Clear The Bench Colorado urges Colorado voters to exercise their rights on the ballot this November.


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