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Replica Star Spangled Banner over Ft. McHenry, Maryland, 8/9/10. Long may she wave!
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This show is dedicated to the principle of eternal vigilance, based upon the free flow of information about government, technology, current events, and our steadfast Constitution, So that citizens can give informed consent, the bedrock of our Republic, and government remains the servant, not the master. Let us each honor the privilege it is to live in God's great nation. ___________________________________________________________________________
2018 Ballot Props: (From Alan Korwin)
Prop 125 -- Vote YES -- Change how certain public pensions are calculated
This concerns changing pensions for retired corrections officers and retired elected officials, and their families. The current pension deals were struck under different pressures and in "boom times," and experts seem to agree will be financially insolvent in the near future -- those deals require an unsupportable permanent benefit increase, which the state Constitution bans reducing. This constitutional amendment would allow replacing that with a cost-of-living increase instead, based on a formula, and not to exceed 2% per year. New people entering the system would enter under new pension terms, which are less rich than the older ones. Some people already in the system want to keep the status quo, even though it will go broke and they'll have nothing, that's human nature. This is an improvement for the taxpayer, the system and people in it, which otherwise will bankrupt itself.
Prop 126 -- Vote YES -- Ban Taxes on Services
This is one of the "backwards" props -- You must vote YES to say NO new taxes. In general, almost anything that grows government is suspect, and likely should be defeated. If enacted, this expands government greatly, plus, it takes more money from us in a new tax, so clearly it's a YES vote (YES, do NOT tax services).
Right now the state has power to tax sales on goods but not on services, and it sees a treasure chest if it can add a new sales tax on services, which is what this proposition will do if enacted. Service providers are things like gardeners, barbers, doctors, car washes, real-estate agents, accountants, even writers like me (though I would argue the "shall make no law" part of the First Amendment forbids taxing speech). Our bills for service will need a sales-tax line, and you'll have to pay more. Right now we have freedom from this. "Officials" are salivating at the idea they could soak so much more money out of us.
The left does argue it is unfair for a person in business selling products to charge sales tax, but a person selling services does not. However, in the current system, tax is totally unfair all over the place, not just here, and needs repair. To help balance taxation for people who sell physical things, lower or reduce their taxes, don't tax someone else "for fairness." What a terrible idea. Government workers, leftists and socialists think that way. As you know, we're having problems in this country with people like that. The bad argument being circulated that by stopping a new tax on half our retail economy, legislators will simply increase the existing sales tax is bogus. Future tax increase proposals (if, and when) are a separate battle unrelated to this vote.
Creating new taxes is rarely if ever a solution to societal ills, which are rarely if ever a problem for government to intervention. Don't delegate new powers to an already bloated government and bureaucracy.
Proposition 127 -- Vote NO -- Should Our Constitution Require How We Make Power?
"The Solar Power Mandate"
The point no one has brought to the front is that this is pure socialism. Vote NO. The state is telling industry how to act. From an imaginary throne in an ivory tower, the central politburo wants to decide how electricity should be made, and when, and tell you people to pay whatever it costs. Markets are eliminated. This is so wrong in a capitalist, free republic the people proposing it should be removed from power and possibly face punishment.
Tom Steyer, a California billionaire advocate of far left progressive causes is backing this one, to replace 50% of our main electric utility generation by 2030 (12 years from now) by "renewable" sources, regardless of cost. You pay any extra cost. Note: Steyer makes systems that firms will have to buy to meet the mandate -- that ought to be criminal.)
A complex five-page amendment to the state Constitution is the mechanism proposed for the change, meaning it will imbed in our legal structure and be virtually impossible to modify -- how our electric-generation system works will be dictated by government permanently. Business will have been ruled out. Only specified systems can be used. It's the wrong way, place, manner, a corruption of everything America represents.
(Making constitutional changes by citizen initiative ballot propositions is extremely difficult, a problem we created for ourselves in 1996 when we wanted to sideline our own legislature. The unintended consequences have been haunting us, a bad problem in need of a fix, people are working on it, that's a separate story for sometime.)
Our current electric-power system isn't perfect, includes plenty of reliable and renewable and solar (grid and distributed) with no limits or caps, and the new proposal is terrible. You improve things like this with ingenuity and self-interest, not tyrannical dictates under color of law. Megabucks of dark money is flooding in to fool low-info voters, greens, hard leftists, even decent uninformed folks.
BACK STORY IF YOU CARE: Money-saving calculations for your electric bills from both sides are totally bogus, because they require predicting the future, with scores of variables and no way to even guess at them. Both sides are lying to you. Consider future: fuel prices, population changes, change in electrical usage, cost of future plant construction, solar panel efficiencies and cost, import policies for Chinese rare-earth minerals, storage technologies, federal subsidies (or lack), grid needs and buildout, large-scale switch to auto-drive electric cars, wind and sunny day inventories, rainfall, it just doesn't end. What we do know is that forcing you to pay regardless of price is potential disaster, invites corruption and is not The American Way. It is what this California billionaire wants us to have.
Because utilities can "buy" renewable energy credits from elsewhere to make up for anything they don't actually generate, costs to us can skyrocket without limit and opportunities for corruption are worse than for drug cartel operators. Managers will be tempted to pay anything to get what's needed to meet the dictates of our new Constitution.
Which brings up my favorite bad part -- there is no punishment provided for officials if they fail and miss the targets. If the artificial goals aren't met, power generation continues along its free-market path due to every normal factor and human nature, "officials" just get to fail after inflating our rates, and 2030 arrives without the results. But you can bet ads will run "informing" the public how much greener we are, things are good, without mentioning communist Chinese slaves working at brines and mountainous rare-earth mines to get the chemicals that make solar panels go (along with Australia) -- in delightful messages from APS and the Ad Council.
Though imperfect, this bill strengthens Arizona's role leading the nation in school choice, and if we somehow hit the target 30,000 enrollment, positive effects will cascade from increased interest and the success. Currently limited to kids with special needs, in foster care, or in schools ranked D and F, this makes ESA accounts available to more than a million eligible students statewide.
Because it's a ballot initiative, we're stuck with that hard-to-change problem -- ballot initiatives are protected (or burdened, a separate conundrum) because it cannot be changed without another ballot initiative (years away and grueling), or a super-majority 3/4 vote of the legislature ("We don't want them fooling with citizen-based decisions!"). This could be better without the ballot-initiative burden and some better language, yet by preserving and expanding ESAs it's the half-a-loaf now, and go for more later. Politics is the art of the possible.
The 30K enrollment cap is a trade-off for opening up the program to all students. Unionized teachers and progressives don't like any of it because it relinquishes total educational control that they crave. Every student who leaves takes away non-federal funding government schools get (but of course, the schools save because they don't have to service students who aren't there). If all 30K students empowered here walk, from a student body of 1.2 million, big deal, red-for-ed is crying wolf on the finances. It provides an avenue for children to escape the government school monopoly system. Parents regain power (not a red-for-ed goal). A defeat here will empower the teachers union, red-for-ed and government-school monopoly. Vote YES for student choice.
Prop 306 -- Vote YES -- Stop Candidates from Giving Taxpayer "Clean" Funds to Their Parties, also, "Clean" Elections Commission Oversight
This is the other "vote-yes-to-say-no" proposal. Candidates running on taxpayer money (so-called Clean Elections) found a loophole allowing them to turn over some or most of their money to their political parties. That money -- your money -- then gets used on all sorts of things except the candidate you gave it to. This bill stops this unintended practice, and once again, you must vote YES to say no, don't give my contributions away.
The bill also gives the legislature some control of the "independent" Clean Elections Commission (it repeals the its current exemption from the Administrative Procedures Act). The argument is the commission needs oversight, it has virtually none from our representatives. Although propositions are banned from presenting two issues at the same time, so you can't be forced to vote for one idea, and get stuck with the other, you can see how corrupt the process has gotten. This bill does that. Fortunately, a yes vote for both of these elements works well. It's interesting that democrats, in their published arguments, argue vehemently against oversight, and basically don't even mention the money-laundering issue. So much so, I went back and re-read the bill to make sure the money issue was there.
Judicial Retention -- Vote NO on all*
You get a chance to vote YES or NO on retaining the judges already sitting on the bench in Arizona. Typically, they are all retained by overwhelming majorities. They all get glowing marks, even perfect scores, every cycle from their colleagues in the reviews published in the Voter Publicity pamphlet issued by the state. This might lead a person to believe the court system approaches perfection, which of course is inaccurate.
Prosecutors achieve nearly perfect scores in achieving guilty verdicts -- by extorting plea deals from defendants, using charge stacking, overcharging, threats of imprisonment for going to trial, offers of soft results that aren't in writing and subsequently ignored and other hopelessly corrupt practices, for which judges simply go along. Among their common complaints: "We can't possible afford the time or cost to have a trial for everyone, and certainly not jury trials, we must have pleas deals!" The U.S. Constitution demands jury trials (Amendments VI and VII). Could it be we charge too many people on too many offenses?
None of the judges, as far as I'm aware and I've asked many, support fully informed juries, which they call jury nullification, an ugly pejorative term. Their arguments are specious or ill informed. If you even know what fully informed juries means and that becomes known, you will be banned from sitting on a jury. If you mention it during questioning ("voir dire" Latin for official jury rigging), you could be held in contempt of court. If you have an understanding of law you will likely be banned. If you would use your judgment instead of a judge's checklist or dictates, you will be banned from sitting. A jury of your peers is a concept that hasn't existed since you've been alive. Mounting a defense based on the Constitution is flatly not allowed.
For these reasons and more, it seems to make sense to me to vote NO on retention of all judges*, send a stark message to the judiciary, and start over with people responsive to true rules of justice, the Constitution and the people. That shakeup would do more to bring justice back to the court system than anything plain voting can do. Lenny Bruce poignantly said, "In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls." That must be corrected.
I make few friends in the judiciary with this position. By making this public free-speech statement, especially if it has the desired effect, it may attract the wrath of the system, putting the lie to the notion that we still retain the right to free speech, and the power it holds to keep government in line with the wishes of we the people. I've done it anyway. It needs to be said, and repeated, until needed changes are made.
Vote NO on judge retention for all judges.*
* The state Supreme Court is a different case from the lower courts. Only two of the Justices there are up for retention, and both deserve support. Vote YES to retain the only two state Supreme Court Justices on the ballot, solid principled men. Red for Ed has a vendetta against them, the left is seeking to remove two of the best we have, Clint Bolick and John Pelander. They are an exception from the “clean house” proposal for bench judges. Vote YES for Clint Bolick & John Pelander.
This would giwve the city of Tucson about 225 million dollars to build parks and greenways to connect them.
Hey, if we are not maintaining the ones we have now, what makes you think we will do better with new ones? What this prop does is give the city an excuse to come back and beg for more. HELL NO!
Proposed Charter Amendment to extend the terms of the current mayor and councilmembers by one year beginning in 2020, and hold even-year primary and general elections for the offices of mayor and councilmembers, in place of the current odd-year primary and general elections. This is done to comply with state law to even out the elections and make them less costly. VOTE YES/
PIMA COUNTY PROP 463
Pima County is asking voters to consider authorizing the sale of $430 million in general obligation bonds to fund the reconstruction, preservation and repair of existing public roads across the region. General obligation bonds are repaid with property taxes. Pima County intends to structure repayment of the bond debt so as to not increase the current property tax rate. The bonds would be issued with short repayment periods so that the debt repayment periods will not exceed the life of the road repairs. Bond proceeds cannot be used for anything but reconstruction, preservation, and repair of existing public roads, as well as costs incidental to each bond sale.
VOTE HELL NO!
You don't use bond money to fix roads! It should come from general revenue.
You too can look silly in one flintlock or less.
Swap Shop, Liberty Watch, and America Armed & Free radio,
Some of you have been asking about the Mustang in the commercial. Here it is!
AND: Here it is now, after Perfection Auto Works got done with it!
How many verses to The Star Spangled Banner?
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming. And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion, A home and a country should leave us no more! Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O! thus be it 'ere, when free men shall stand 'Tween their loved home and the war's desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this our motto be: "In God is our trust." And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave
5th Verse, by Charles Heller:
Oh thus we protect, sacred honor and truth,
What the founders bequeathed, let no court rend asunder,
We sing praise unto him, from whom all freedom begins,
Through the rule of law, not man's fickle flaws,
And so glory obtains, for our posterity,
So servant not master shall all gov'mt be,
And the Star Spangled Banner means individual liberty,
Where because of the brave, we're the land of the free.