Libertarian Party of Delta County
The Outlaw Redneck's Corner

The Outlaw Redneck’s Corner - by Debbie Schum

 

           

 

 

 

 

 


 

 Platitudes for Prosperity

 

Since Scott McInnis was successful in ousting Josh Penry from his campaign for governor, he (or someone smarter than himself) has come up with the “Platform for Prosperity”. It is vapid, vague, and just more of the same old empty promises we have come to expect from the GOP. We didn’t want their McCain, their Beauprez, or their Wayne Wolf. So now they are trying to foist Scott McInnis on us.

The Democrats campaign on the platform of “I believe government is the solution to every ‘problem’ on the planet, and I promise to bring you even more government if you vote for me”. And then they do. But the Republicans get up there and talk about “small government ®” and “low taxes ™” then give us what the Democrats promised. So who’s actually more honest?

The so called “platform for prosperity”—better named “platitudes for prosperity”—is just more of the same. Warm fuzzy nothingness.
The US Constitution says the federal government is supposed to protect our borders. The GOP wants to lay that job at the feet of employers, by cracking the heads of people who hire illegal immigrants, even while the GOP candidates are offering amnesty.

The “platitudes for prosperity” document outlines no concrete plan at all, and attacks Democrats for what they’ve done when elected, giving a free pass to their own incompetent, government growing elected officials. Why? Because the GOP thinks the socialism they accuse the Democrats of is just fine…so long as the GOP is in charge of it. It isn’t about a plan for taxpayers. It’s a plan for getting the GOP back into the dictator’s seat. It doesn’t refer to your rights; it refers to the benevolence of GOP dictatorship.

At first, “platitudes for prosperity” included a line about repealing Governor Ritter’s immensely unpopular car registration fee hike, but that has already been removed--McInnis didn’t like that part. When asked what spending cuts he would make, he not only declined to answer, but then launched into a diatribe against Ritter for the cuts he has made.

As if it weren’t bad enough that the GOP expects us all to conveniently forget that McInnis was under investigation by the FEC for paying his wife walloping amounts of money out of his Congressional campaign funds---more than he himself made, and even when he wasn’t running—and that he signed a pledge of term limits to congress of 2 years and then reneged and ran 3 terms, they apparently also want us to believe this guy McInnis is “the Tea Party candidate”. Did Scott McInnis speak at a Tea Party protest? No. He didn’t even attend any. No Tea Party groups, I Caucus, We The People, 9/12 project, or any other Tea Party groups in Colorado has endorsed McInnis, and are now pretty irate with this guy for presenting himself as such. In fact, Scott McInnis has flat out ignored all Tea Party groups’ attempts to contact him. His website doesn’t even have an email contact, because he doesn’t want to hear from you. You could donate to his wife…uh, I mean his campaign though! The FEC investigation of McInnis was dismissed. Because there was no merit to the charges? No, because it was “low priority”. Government business as usual.

And what of Josh Penry? What are we to make of his “decision” not to run for governor, and his statement that he is stepping down for the good of the GOP--not the voters, or the state? This is immensely disappointing. Apparently Penry is more concerned with moving up the ladder in his party than political principles.

So how many of you are going to step into the voting booth next fall, sick to your stomachs, and say “well, there’s a Libertarian on the ballot, but I think I want to stick with the interchangeable socialist major parties, so as to help in making sure they have the better chance of winning”? Or are you going to say “Looks like we’re getting socialism again this time---maybe not next time—but I’m not helping bring it about, and I’m not staying home. I’m voting for the guy who stands for what I actually believe”?



 SAFETY—OR CONTROL?


Government equals police powers. While police powers can overlap with public safety issues, they are not synonymous.
So how can we, as a society, be helpful in our quest for public safety, instead of resorting to threats, fines, jail, licenses and permits? Can we have various code models available to the public to choose from and friendly, helpful agents to show us through these codes, help us pick the one we think is right for our own homes, and perhaps charge us a small fee for copies we may want to purchase, instead of browbeating us with the ever changing codes they have devised without our consent, and treating is like wayward, defiant children in need of punishment for non-compliance?
Here is an example: When I bought the property I now live on 19 years ago, I got a visit from the health department. I explained that I had blueprint plans for a peat moss composter toilet that I wanted to build. As soon as I did this, all pretense at helpfulness was over. I was told I wasn’t allowed—by law—to have a composter toilet, that the only option was a septic system. Now, this isn’t even true. Even though Delta County’s sewer/septic laws illegally supersede state law, they themselves also don’t prohibit composter toilets. But I was served “cease and desist” orders twice, saying I wasn’t allowed to live on my own property until I had someone else with a license install a septic system for me. One of these “cease and desist” order missions to my home was also accompanied by a sheriff’s deputy! This battle went on for 2 years. Finally, after I threatened a lawsuit, the county health department conceded that a composter toilet was indeed lawful. There was no apology for the undue harassment, however. Far from it…I was told I would not be allowed to build a composter myself, that I would have to purchase one that came with an NSF sticker. It didn’t matter if I built the composter toilet to NSF specifications or not. I didn’t have a special government license. I guess us dummy citizens aren’t even qualified to poop right.

After researching several companies who make peat moss composter toilets, I determined it would be cheaper to purchase one than build one myself. So I bought one and installed it. The health department came to inspect it, and at that time, the government agent in charge told me about several features of the particular model I had bought. It became apparent quickly that he knew all about composter toilets and the various brands and models available. But instead of helping me with that information, he chose to pretend that what I was doing was illegal. Was it just me? Well, I have talked to at least 4 other people in the county who have went through the same or very similar situations. And I wasn’t seeking any of these people out. Is it just this particular guy, at this particular health department? Well, do any of you know what your local sewer regulations say? How would you know if you were being told the truth or not?
My point is, wouldn’t it have been nice if I could have gone down to the health department and explained what I wanted to do, and asked what options were available? And—picture this—the friendly, helpful government agent talked to me about the various brands and models of peat moss composter toilets available, and maybe even had some brochures there that these companies happily send to anyone who requests them for free, so he could show me what we were talking about and how to contact these companies? Instead of 2 years of lies and harassment, accompanied by threats and demands?
Most of the time, people don’t see this side of government code offices, because they don’t ever try to do anything but what the code office tells them they can do, whether what they may want to do is acceptable under the code or not. But you still get the view of the frustration, delay, ridiculous costs, never ending paperwork, required licenses (purchased permission) for what you are mandated to do to begin with, and the insult of bending over backwards to accompany the code offices schedule, even if it costs you more than you can afford, while they could care less about your schedule. Why because police powers are not always the same thing as “safety” or “help”. Yeah, you want the deputy with the gun when someone is breaking into your home. But do you really want the deputy with the gun when you are trying to install a toilet?



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 TOLERANCE FOR CORN

In the late 1970’s, Stephen King wrote a short story--later made into a movie--called “Children of the Corn”. In this story, the children of a seemingly deserted town pay homage to a monster that lives in the corn fields called “he who lives behind the rows”. Instead of doing something about the monster, they dutifully sacrificed anyone over the age of 19 to it. They preached sermons during the sacrifices, and when the monster was unhappy with them, the age limit for sacrifice was lowered.

Nowadays, we have the “children of the corn powered vehicles”, and they dutifully sacrifice their neighbors rights to “he who walks the fine line between stupidity and criminality”. They also sacrifice logic to emotion. Their monster doesn’t live in the corn rows, because corn is only for burning in your car, and any other farming wrecks the planet, spoils view sheds, and harms property values. So the monster lives in their minds and government offices instead.

The “children of the corn powered vehicles” also lower the age limit on the children they sacrifice to local, state, and national debt, so they can live outside their means now, and have the children pay later. At the same time, they loudly proclaim the “sacredness” of the children they rip off and enslave so brazenly.
Another main theme of the “children of the corn powered vehicles” is “tolerance”. Perhaps they talk about it so much because they want some, and have no idea what it is or where to find it. Or perhaps it is just a smoke screen for the upcoming sacrifices. Of their neighbors--not themselves--of course.

For example, in sacrifice number 200 bazillion gazillion, a land owner wanted to turn his property into an air strip subdivision. He was not one of the enlightened “children of the corn powered vehicles”, so clearly, he had to be sacrificed. And sacrificed he was! The “children of the corn powered vehicles” ranted and raved, screamed and gnashed their teeth. They claimed that the unenlightened one would cause the deaths of untold numbers of the sacred slave children by allowing planes to fly in and out of his property; that he would ruin property values; that he would demolish the serenity of the community. They said this because they could not say “several planes flying over might see our marijuana fields”. You see, the children of the corn powered vehicles, didn’t want to do something about the monster they were sacrificing their neighbor to, because if they were to fight to legalize their crop, then their high black market prices would drop. And if they were to just hide their crop better, that would be inconvenient to them. So better to sacrifice the rights of the unenlightened out of the loop/clique neighbor to “he who walks the fine line between stupidity and criminality” (you know—the monster who lives in their minds and in the government offices). And lo and behold! “He who walks the fine line between stupidity and criminality” was greatly pleased by this sacrifice, and doubled—nay, tripled!--the stupidity factor of the community, by approving the subdivision and the air strip, but not the air strip for the subdivision dwellers!

And the “children of the corn powered vehicles” saw that their sacrifice was accepted and they became emboldened in their sacred hypocrisy. They began in earnest to implement their “all one people” vision of shoving their homogeny for the community down the throats of ALL their neighbors, and they loudly proclaimed their “tolerance” for the collective by proposing and devising punishments for those who don’t conform to their “all one people” vision. Even though their “unenlightened” neighbors are not dreaming up punishments for them, the “children of the corn powered vehicles” still proclaim that they themselves are the enlightened, tolerant ones, and therefore justified in their haughty harrassment of the unenlightened “outlaw redneck” types (who are, but at the same time, are not part of the “all one people”)

And “he who walks the fine line between stupidity and criminality” saw this, and rewarded them richly, by writing into the new subdivision regulations that “you do not have the right to depreciate your neighbors property values”.



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 SAVE THE STATUS QUO?

 

In an October 1 editorial in the GJ Sentinel, Rick Wagner has warned people not to vote 3rd party. He says Ross Perot is the cause of the election of Bill Clinton, but he “forgets” to mention that by his reasoning, Ralph Nader is the cause of the election of big spending, TARP creating, bailout boy George W Bush. Presumably this oversight is because Mr. Wagner, as he has said, is a “fan” of Bush.

Mr. Wagner also compares the difficult hurdles placed for 3rd parties to ballot access by the major parties (Democrats and Republicans) to a Monty Python comedy. Apparently, the “bi-partisan” efforts of the Redemopublicraticans to block anyone else from ballot access is comedic to Mr. Wagner. Ha-ha, pretty funny.

While Mr. Wagner acknowledges the widespread dissatisfaction of citizens with state and national politics, he also continues to play the “lesser of 2 evils” game, and encourages the rest of us to do the same. He calls “the other team” (in Rick Wagner’s world, this would be the Democrats, the only other competition he wants to allow) “the least desired alternative” and “the less favored candidates”. One of the big bonuses Mr. Wagner offers as a reward for not voting 3rd party is that you get to vote in primaries! Now isn’t that special? What is particularly silly in this editorial is right after Mr. Wagner acknowledges the widespread dissatisfaction with state and national politicians, he says that if you vote 3rd party, you will be denying that vote to the major party candidate who is closest to your political philosophy. WOW. Uh, that’s the whole point, Mr. Wagner. Because the major parties no longer have any connection to our political philosophies! Within the ranks of Libertarians, the one theme I hear over and over from people who have left the 2 major parties is “I didn’t leave my party—they left me”. Mr. Wagner apparently doesn’t care much for political philosophy, though—just team politics. And he wants us all to follow suit, and follow the major parties down whatever convoluted, corrupted path they want to take us.
Here is a case in point: former district 2 county commissioner, Wayne Wolf, who ran for congress last year, is running for state senate next year. In a recent DCI article, Mr. Wolf is quoted as saying he is a fiscal and social conservative. Anyone in Delta County has paid even a small amount of attention will note that Mr. Wolf is indeed a social conservative (because we need a huge government to regulate our morality), but a fiscal conservative? Give me a break! Mr. Wolf also now claims he is a supporter of TABOR. This must be a very recent conversion, because I certainly remember commissioner Wolf supporting Referendums C and D—HUGE anti-TABOR bills!

Mr. Wolf defines the main theme of the state senate race as “the state budget”. That’s a pretty good one coming from Wayne “roundabout” Wolf (do you Delta County residents remember Wolf’s $5 million roundabout idea for the bottom of Cedar Mesa grade?), under whose watch the county budget tripled in 2 years, from $19 million to $29 million. This is the same Mr. Wolf who is now criticizing Governor Ritter for putting the state in a bind for funding too much new hiring.
Before Mr. Wolf decided to run for congress last year, he was going to run for US senate. At that time, he publicly said that we shouldn’t dismiss Hillary Clinton’s health care plan just because she’s a Democrat; that it’s actually a very good plan.

For you Democrats out there smirking, we could bring up your Blagoyavich, your Louisiana congressman with $90,000 in bribes in his freezer, your “yes we can” president who made such a smooth transition from Bush’s corporate welfare bonanza to his own corporate welfare spend-o-rama, and on and on.

Do these people really represent us? Is this what is closest to our political philosophies? Or is Rick Wagner simply asking us to drink the kool-aid--ignore reality and hum along to the rhetoric?
If you keep wasting your votes on “the lesser of 2 evils”, guess what you are going to get? That’s right—more evil.




 

 PERMIT FOR STUPIDITY

 

I have written many times about rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

Often, we hear people talking about their rights. But do you ever hear them talking about the responsibilities inherent in those rights?
Gun control and drug war advocates frequently think they can “prevent crime” by cracking down on guns or drugs. Alcohol prohibition certainly didn’t work—in fact, it brought us the Mafia, which we still haven’t gotten rid of—and drug prohibition isn’t working either. When is the last time you heard of competing liquor stores shooting it out in the streets like gang thugs? During alcohol prohibition, that’s when. Now we’ve got the same thing with drugs. And gun control advocates have the same dumb idea. That crime can be prevented by outlawing guns. The problem is criminals—by their very definition—don’t follow the law. Whether we are talking about drugs, alcohol, or guns, we are faced with the same dilemma. A black market is simply a market operating without government sanction.
I have the right to carry a gun. I also have the responsibility to make sure no one gets hurt by my irresponsible actions with my gun. And if I prove I am incapable of that responsibility, then my right to carry a gun is suspended for an appropriate amount of time by a supposedly neutral government.
I have the right to inundate myself with toxic substances, whether they be cigarettes, alcohol, fatty foods, drugs, coffee, sugar, or stupid movies. A friend once asked me “but what if someone broke into your house and stole money for drugs?” My response? “I don’t care what they were going to spend the stolen money on, or if they intended to put it in the collection plate at church! STEALING is the problem in this scenario.”

Here is another example; very local. We’ve all been watching the soap opera over the long standing tradition of the Cedaredge High School Homecoming bonfire. Cedaredge wants to charge $100 for a variance for a permit for an ordinance, for an activity that doesn’t even require a permit, let alone a variance. And in a quote from Town Administrator Katie Sickles (Mtn. Valley News, 9-16-09, page 9) “What we did not want to see is any recreational fires that have not had to come through the process so that we could insure public safety. Years ago, there were some people that came to this area that participated in alcohol and drug related activities that would light large bonfires, and we don’t want to see something like that, where there is a potential for those types of fires to get away.”  This statement is circular nonsense on so many different levels, it’s hard to know where to start. But let’s give it a try anyway.
Administrator Sickles seems to believe that if you pay the town for a permit or variance to a permit, your activity is now “safe”. Without a paid permit, public safety is threatened. Then she goes on to talk about drug and alcohol “participants” who have lit bonfires in the past. She does not say there were actually any problems at those drunken, druggie bonfires, but maybe perhaps there could have been, and so thusly everyone (i.e.: Cedaredge High School students) should pay $100 to the town of Cedaredge, thereby taking the danger out of traditional—or even drunken, drug fueled--bonfires. This is plain stupid. It is clearly not about “public safety”, but about padding the coffers of the government and acquiescing personal responsibility to the government. The “funny” thing is, once the government has taken the responsibility from the individual, they simply shift it onto the entire populace instead of the party(s) responsible. So much for evading personal responsibility. History has shown that even in the most restrictive totalitarian environments, all crime cannot be prevented. Instead, it must be punished appropriately. How many things that are rights turned into privileges (like driving your own car) have been used as blackmail punishments for other unrelated crimes (things unrelated to driving a car will lose you your drivers license, people with no violence convictions forbidden from owning firearms because they got caught with some marijuana; etc) Dumb, and Dumber.



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 HEALTH CARE FASCIST REFORM PART 2



I want to urge all of you to read the “health care reform” bills yourselves. The congressional bill can be found at:
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text and the senate bill can be found at: http://help.senate.gov/BAI09A84_xml.pdf.You need to read them yourselves, because the political rhetoric going around (on both sides) is ridiculous. One side is pretending this is fabulous, and the answer to all problems, because the government says so! The other side is pretending we are “heading for socialism”--as if we haven’t already been there for YEARS—and there are no problems at all with health care.

Those of you on Medicare/Medicaid already know that it is NOT “free”…it costs money out of your fixed income. And since it covers so little, you’ll need the supplemental to cover a little more. Which of course, costs more.

70% of the national budget is Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare. There isn’t enough money for this. Even the president admits this, and says funding for Medicaid/Medicare (let’s call it M/M), will have to be cut by 300 to 500 billion dollars. Which means it is going to cost M/M recipients more. A lot more. So when the president says a public option (which of course is not an “option”) is not going to add to the deficit or cost anything, that CANNOT be true. If this “reform package” were really about making sure that those without insurance could have insurance if they wanted it, then (A) it wouldn’t be mandatory, and (B) the government could simply raise the income limits for M/M, and make it sliding fee scale. This would still not address the issue of why health care itself costs so much; thusly would be treating the symptom, not the problem.

HR 3200 caps insurance premiums at 11% of 400% of the poverty level. The poverty level is most frequently designated as $12,000. Using that figure, the maximum premium is $5,280, or $440 per month. Not only is this still out of reach for many people, but what is that going to cover? How many claims will have to be denied? This can’t be “comprehensive coverage” by any stretch of the imagination. And it cannot cover all the things insurance companies are mandated (by law) to cover. It CAN’T. It will force many people onto the “public option”, which is paid for by the government. Which means the taxpayers. Which means a bunch of money siphoned off for “administrative costs”. You’d have been better off paying directly.

 

HR 3200 proposes fines—attached to your income taxes--for people who can’t or won’t buy insurance. It does not say what will happen if you also can’t afford the fines. This isn’t an oversight…HR 3200 frequently amends the IRS tax code. And the IRS tax code DOES say what happens when you don’t pay your taxes. It’s called felony tax evasion. Thusly, I continue to maintain that HR 3200 isn’t about “helping the poor”. It’s about another attempt to make poverty illegal, and it’s a corporate welfare program for insurance companies. One that also just happens to benefit the federal government.

 

HR 3200 also has a large section titled “shared responsibility”. Let me explain something. We are all different. Fine, I have no problem with that. And many people work hard to shirk responsibility. OK. I have my opinion of that, but, again, not that big of a deal. If people don’t want to be responsible for their own health, and don’t want the responsibility of researching why health care costs so much and what to do about that, well, OK. But when that desire to shirk responsibility becomes a demand on me, a hostile and self important claim (as in “we—especially me—all have a RIGHT to health care”) that drags in a 3rd party—the government--to enforce that delusional laziness, OK, NOW I have a problem with that. Don’t tell me this is “shared responsibility” when it’s really FORCED responsibility. Someone else’s responsibility besides your own. It’s bad enough to rob people and outlaw poverty (got to protect those property values!), but the hipper than thou self righteous I-am-so-enlightened attitude that goes with it is absolutely inexcusable.

 

 



 HEALTH CARE FASCISM
A friend of mine managed to get tickets to the “inner sanctum”, so on August 15th, I went to Grand Junction to see President Obama. I did not get to ask a question. Basically, it was like being an unselected contestant in the audience of a game show.
I was approached by several TV journalists (mainly by virtue of my seat—in the back, in front of the press section). A couple of hours later, I found myself on a panel of 3 people, live on CNN. We were told we were doing an hour long debate about health care reform. One was the “I’m all for it” guy, the other was the “I’m on the fence” guy. And I was supposed to be the ignoramus backwoods buffoon opposed to everything. I was told by CNN I was not to say “Libertarian” (too controversial) or “constitution” (not pertinent). I “forgot” and said Libertarian right away.
The so called debate with the other 2 panelists never happened. Instead, the “interviewer” appeared to want to debate me himself. He put me in a time out for saying I don’t have insurance and don’t want insurance, and that mandatory insurance is a corporate welfare subsidy for insurance companies, which doesn’t help me or my doctor…only insurance companies. He told me he’d come back to me after I’d had a minute to think about the inaccurate things I’d said. He went on to the other guys, then came back to me by asking didn’t I think I was selfish (yes, he said that…TWICE. View the interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyHYVizifhA&feature=player_embedded ). I explained that insurance companies are a big reason health care costs are so high. What I later wished I would have said was “I’M selfish? I’m not the one proposing $1,000’s of dollars in fines for people who can’t afford insurance!”
Apparently, I wasn’t enough of a buffoon, because the “interviewer” decided to cut the hour long debate off after 5 minutes. He didn’t even let the other guys respond to what I’d said. And indeed, afterwards one agreed with me.
Had the debate actually happened, I would have talked about these things:
Health care reform discussion goes around and around in a circle. Many people have come to believe that we HAVE to have insurance to afford health care, which IS very expensive; that insurance is the solution, and an integral part of our health. They try to figure out how to make sure everyone has insurance, instead of focusing on health care prices and how to bring that down. Were that the focus, they’d see that insurance raises health care costs directly by approximately 60%. Hospitals and doctors have contracts with insurance companies. Because insurance companies are dealing in “bulk” they get a discount, typically paying about 40% of the actual bill. Medicaid/Medicare (M/M) does the same thing. So the hospital raises their prices in order to make up the difference. And they are frequently not reimbursed for anywhere from months to years. Now add in what it costs them to deal with insurance and M/M. I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement in health care pricing—I’m saying insurance clearly doesn’t solve the problem. Especially when the insurance companies themselves are forced to deal with ridiculous mandates—laws—about what they have to cover and you have to pay for. Like men paying for pregnancy coverage, breast reductions, birth control pills, etc. This is comparable to what your car insurance would cost if you had to be covered (by law) for tire rotations, oil changes, all maintenance, and even things that don’t apply to your car at all.
How much does a broken leg cost? How about stitches? Cyst removal? What other industry can get away with not telling you the cost up front?
I urge all of you to read the health care reform bills yourselves. States will NOT be allowed to “opt out”. Neither will citizens or businesses. Sure, you can keep your current insurance…as long as you don’t change ANYTHING about it. And if you can’t afford insurance (you have to pay for the public option, too), well, too bad…you’ll be fined.
(to be continued….)





 LET’S DO THIS!
     I’m sure I’m not alone when I say sometimes I get discouraged, and don’t know what to do to staunch the bleeding in my wallet. Money seems to fly right out of it, and a lot of times I don’t even know where it’s going or why. I’m not talking about my own spending—I know how I spend my money and why. I’m talking about how the government spends my money. Like a lot of you, I am sometimes drawn to some rally or another, to mingle with others who feel the same way. But often I am even more discouraged afterward, because I know showing up somewhere, waving a sign around, didn’t really do anything. The money continues to drain away into some abyss or another. I want to be more effective. And then I am reminded that we really can do something. And I want to tell you about one of the things we can do right now.
First, look at these 3 websites:
http://www.cotaxreform.com/
http://www.limitcodebt.com/
http://www.limitpropertytax.com/
Then get on the phone and call me (970-234-8056) or email me (wsoutreachdirector@lpcolorado.org) so I can get your signature on each of these petitions. Better yet, help circulate these petitions! I have enough for the western slope!
    Some one else has already done the hard part...thinking these ideas up, and actually turning the ideas into petitions for you to sign. Will you commit to helping us collect signatures? I don’t want one of you to collect all the signatures. I want several of you to collect just 100.
    Each of these petitions is state wide, so anyone in Colorado can sign, as long as they are registered to vote in Colorado. Even committing to get only one set (one of each of the 3) filled—which realistically would only take a few hours in front of a busy outlet like a store—would help tremendously to get these issues on the ballot in 2010. And that is infinitely more effective than complaining from the couch.
Here are the issues:

  •     Limit Government Debt—we have a legal right to vote on government debt, but politicians still borrow on our credit card by using other names for debt. We can not only reaffirm the 1876 constitutional ban on state debt, but we can allow local debt by voter approval only, limit the total local debt, require the government to pay all their debts, and lower taxes after those voter approved debts are paid. And quit passing irresponsible debts on to babies that aren’t even born yet. See www.limitcodebt.com to learn more.
  •    Reform Property Taxes—wouldn’t you like to be able to petition the local government to lower your property taxes? Wouldn’t you like to see the government run businesses have to pay taxes as well? Would you like to see (unelected) special districts have to be up front when they tax you, instead of sneaking it in on your property taxes or elsewhere? Shouldn’t we replace part of school property taxes over 10 years with an equal level of state aid? Did you think it was fair for Governor Ritter to “freeze” your property taxes at a high rate when the economy has gone down hill? Then let’s get www.limitpropertytax.com on the ballot!
  •    Cut Car, Income, Phone Taxes—Speaking of Governor Ritter, how do you all like your new car registration “fees”? Imagine this: Over a 4 year period, we lower ownership and sales taxes (and end rental and lease taxes), and set our yearly registrations at $10. And while we’re at it, why don’t we ban all other car “fees”? And let’s say we also lower our 4.63% state income tax to 4.5%, and then lower it another 0.1% every year for the next 10 years that income tax revenues exceed 6%. Hmmm…and maybe while we’re at it, we end state and local taxes and charges on our phones, pagers, cable, and other telecommunications accounts! We’ll keep the 911 fee, because we find emergency services legitimate. Unlike the recently ended “1898 Spanish-American war telephone tax” which raked in $5.9 billion in 2005 alone. www.cotaxreform.com can help stop those idiocies.
So call or email me. We can all do this with your help!
 

 RECYCLED EDUCATIONAL INTERNET HEALTHCARE
I keep hearing a lot about all the uninsured people who are costing us so much for health care. Well, it so happens that I am one of those uninsured people. Yep, I’m one of the evil small business owner uninsured folks. Except I am not costing any of the rest of you anything. Not a dime. I pay my own bills. Even the expensive ones, like the serious health issue I dealt with last year.
I realize that there are uninsured people who are costing all of us a lot of money. But it seems pretty obvious to me that the problem, then, is socialized medicine, not lack of insurance.
Some people want insurance for various things. Fine. Have at it. To each his own. Personally, I find most insurance to be a scam. So I am pretty deeply offended with the Senate’s “health care reform” scam. Making the purchase of anyone’s service or product mandatory is called “fascism or corporatism”, not “reform”. If you were forced by law to purchase the products I sell, you’d be outraged. And I’d be filthy rich. I don’t have a “right” to force my products on you. And you don’t have a “right” to my products. And we don’t have a “right” to health care. Would I like to see some health care reform? YOU BET. But mandatory health insurance certainly isn’t the answer—it doesn’t help you, me, or our doctors. But it DOES help the insurance companies (who, coincidentally, also happen to be some of the same corporations who lend money and “needed” big fat bailouts).
Notice in the current Senate plan who deserves punishment? That’s right! YOU and ME! Health insurers don’t usually turn you down if you have a pre-existing health condition anyway. They just stick it to you hard. And there is nothing in the Senate plan that changes that at all. Nor does it change all the things insurers don’t cover, or the co-pay plans. However, if you or I don’t purchase this stick-it-to-you plan, we will be fined at least $1,000 per year! And will that $1,000 go towards your health care? Of course not! It will go towards….well, who knows. The Senate is already rubbing their fat little hands together projecting how much they think they are going to make in fines alone. Those fines will be attached to your income taxes. So if you show up at your doctors office or the hospital without your proof of insurance (no matter if you can pay your bill or not), you are asking for an IRS audit. And apparently you deserve it, because you are cheating the insurance corporations out of their “right” to your money. What happens if you still don’t go along? What always happens—you go to jail. Where you will then have access to the government health care plan (the one that does actually cost all of the rest of us money). If you think the government health care industry will be wonderful, then go visit a Veterans Hospital (including Walter Reed). The only people who still think Medicaid/Medicare are “free” are people who aren’t getting Medicaid/Medicare. If you are, you know you are paying at least $100 per month out of your Social Security for it, and that it’s even harder to navigate than private insurance. And you aren’t eligible for any new treatments. And you still co-pay.
Seems Congress and the Senate, especially, are pretty confused these days about what are and are not “rights”. Heck, the BBC even says internet access is a “basic human right”. Me? I agree with my fellow Libertarian, Dan Reale, when he says the following:
Perhaps we can combine these "rights" into a wacky, zany new right called "recycled educational internet healthcare".
Potential slogans -
1) "It's diverse, bipartisan, democratic and multi-culturally carbon neutral!"
2) "Be all the offset you can be today!"
3) "New and improved with 9,828.98% more permits, fees and applications!"
4) "Guilty, your honor. I waive my right to indictment or trial."
5) "Recharge this at an electrical outlet up to government code!"
6) "Trial before confiscation is for spear-chucking cave dwellers!"

 VIEW SHED

 I never heard the phrase “view shed” until fairly recently. It took me a while to figure out that it meant “I like how your property looks, and that gives me the RIGHT to look at—and control--your property, so you will need my permission to change things on your property, lest it intrude on my view”. And of course, only certain squeaky wheel people have “view shed rights”.

It is utterly outrageous that only certain hipper-than-thou folks get to determine what a view is, and their friends, the dictators du jour, back them up. And notice how their version of a view always seems to preclude anything man made? The rocks and trees on my land are viewable, but my house or pile of building materials are an “eyesore blight” that is greedily depreciating their property values, thereby cheating them out of the “right” to live beyond their means on credit/equity loans. Some anti-human humans are even more bizarre than that, and believe that your hay field is some sort of symbolism of the rape of the planet!

It’s the old “last man on earth” desire. The selfish wish to own everything they see simply by viewing it, without earning it. The made up “right” to control your shed (and house and barn!) simply by looking at it. And local governments actually accommodate this ridiculousness. How far can this silliness go? What’s next--a “view tax”?
Yeah, yeah, I know…we’ve all heard the scoffing from the proponents of these self important control freak delusions. The haughty contention that those of us who say “How far will this foolishness go?” are living in the black helicopter world of exaggeration and hostility. So get on your computers and google New Hampshire view tax. And then consider that New Hampshire (The “live free or die” state—ha ha ha!) is hardly breaking ground with this greedy idiocy—many other places are way ahead of them on this one.

I was smirking to myself that a “view tax” might actually be a hilarious thing to institute in Delta County. That all the folks who are Ripleys-believe-it-or-not serious when they say you or I shouldn’t be allowed to do anything on our property because it will intrude on their view of our property (while at the same time, demanding that police powers force us to make improvements to our properties that will appreciate their property values) should be slapped with some significant “view taxes” to look at our property. That fun fantasy deteriorated quickly though when I accidentally did some follow up thinking and realized that the money from the proceeds of the view tax would be used to hire “view police” and more idiots in the planning department looking for margin space in every existing land use regulation to insert even more ludicrous land use regulations. Sigh…oh well.

One man in New Hampshire owns a one room cabin with no electricity, no running water, no phone service, and no driveway. It cost him $9,000 to build his cabin. The “view factor” led to a property valuation of over $200,000 by state property assessors. He will be billed $4,000 per year for property taxes on his $9,000 cabin. He appealed the valuation, and said if it was upheld, he would tear the cabin down. That may not affect the “view” from the vacant property though. Another option is to sell the land to a housing developer who will turn the lot into many small lots with town houses, which will decidedly “ruin” the view, and lower the taxes (http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/11/14/142026.shtml ). Interesting how the anti-growth crowd (“I’m here now, let’s close the gate”) can so easily get absolutely flooded with exactly the riff raff they hope to eliminate and prevent. Their not-so-secret idea that outlawing poverty will increase “enlightenment” as well as property values can easily become their squirmy little nightmare. And maybe they should have to pay steep taxes for that (except they’d find a way to stick us unenlightened knuckle draggers with that too).

The moral of the story? Worry about your own yard. Develop your own property values. Get your eyes off my ranch, and quit viewing my shed.

 RIP

On Saturday, May 20th, my close friend and confidant of 18 years, Richard Noll, suffered a massive brain aneurism while he was driving home and went off the road into the steepest ravine of Payne Siding road. It was 2 days past his 56th birthday. His brothers made the painful decision to take him off life support on Tuesday, June 2nd, and he “officially” died minutes later.
This was exactly the right decision, because although Richard was on a machine that forced him to breathe, he was already gone. Several years ago, Richard took “the worlds smallest political quiz”, and registered Libertarian. While not particularly politically active, he did attend the 2004 public hearing on building codes, and told me many times afterward that he had found that to be one of the most powerful experiences of his life; that he had never felt so much a part of the community before, and united strongly with so many people (over 400 attended) that he probably would have disagreed with on some other issues in other situations. Richard, like the huge majority of us there, was opposed to having our right to build a home on our own property turned into a purchased privilege (only 5 raised their hands in favor; everyone else in attendance was opposed). Richard was originally from New York. One of the things that greatly impressed me over the years about him was that he moved to Delta County to fit in, not to change the county into what he thought it should be. And fit in he did. He was one of us. He marveled (that’s the right word, because he was never bitter or cynical like yours truly) many times at his fellow New Yorker, Ed Marston, who so publicly wanted to change Delta County and saw himself as superior to “the local rednecks” here. Richard, unlike Ed, wanted to be one of us, not to “fix” us. That alone made him one of us. A magnetizing person because of his open friendliness and positivism, he, like all of us, suffered disappointments too. One of those disappointments that he spoke of to me involved Tom Wills (unsuccessful Hotchkiss mayoral candidate, town council member, Hotchkiss Planning Commission, LC APC member, and all around authoritarian-communist busy body). Richard met Tom Wills many years ago, when Tom first moved here because he liked the free life style that allowed him to live in a teepee. He even did some unlicensed electrical work for Tom in his used bookstore in exchange for some books (something Tom, of course, now denies). Richard saw Tom as a kindred soul. But that changed as Tom Wills changed. Always a forgiving person, Richard was consistently puzzled and hurt by betrayals, rather than angry. And he was deeply puzzled by what made Tom move here a free spirit in a teepee, then later try to prevent others from doing so by pushing onerous regulations; by Tom’s “I’m here now—let’s close the gate” attitude; and by Tom’s idea that Delta County is great because it has been allowed to develop freely, but that somehow it is possible to “preserve the rural atmosphere” he admires by regulating the crap out of it, turning it into exactly the opposite of what he admires.

Richard Noll never saw anyone as a lost cause—he mingled easily and freely with all classes of people, and never held grudges. He was truly “live and let live”. But when we both read of Tom Wills’ survey in the newspaper (“what do you want Hotchkiss to look like 100 years from now?”-- I laughed and scoffed cynically, Richard, genuinely puzzled and distressed, said “why would he do this? Why would he try to make decisions for people so far into the future?”), Richard decided that though he had credit at Tom’s bookstore, he just felt he couldn’t shop there anymore, and he didn’t (it hurt—he loved books).

Richard Noll loved his life in Delta County, and he loved the people here. He fit in. He cared about the quality of life here. He will be missed so acutely. All of Delta County has suffered the loss of Richard Noll. RIP, brother.

  Who is John Galt

Currently, many writers and talking heads are making references to Ayn Rand’s book, “Atlas Shrugged,” and its parallels to today’s political climate. I completely agree, but have noticed it long before the current administration took power. This was an eye opening book for me. I read it at a time when I felt a lot of outrage about how citizens are treated by the government and their toadies, and could not fathom what to do about it, short of serious revolution (which few of us want to be the instigators of). One (partial) sentence really jumped out of that book for me; one I have never forgotten - “The spectacle of pleas for pity, delivered as snarling hatred, in the form of threats and demands.” I had seen this all around me my entire life, and couldn’t quite name it - then there it was. I saw with new eyes the variety of spare changers who are angry, and believe you owe them something, and this idea that productivity is bad, greedy, selfish, and “need” is righteous, worthy, and moral. Not many people care about philosophy anymore. And it shows. All politics and forms of government are based on philosophy. Which philosophy is the question. I have heard many people say that public office is corrupting. I disagree. That’s like saying “guns kill.” A person with corrupted philosophical principles will be a corrupt politician. I’m not necessarily talking about graft, bribes, power-mongering and the like. I’m talking about well-intentioned empire building, altruistic robbery, equal-results minded dictatorship. In short, people who don’t know the difference between their preferences and their rights. And who “rule” that way. Our founding fathers borrowed freely from other historical forms of government. So what makes our form of government so different than anything else ever tried in history? A very simple philosophical principle: Individual rights. This is the crux of the entire structure of freedom. The only way for life to be fair for all, in spite of our vast differences of preference and opinion, is the concept of individual rights. And I mean FAIR… not “utopian”. We are sovereign individuals, not subjects. Our rights are una- LIEN-able. Our rights should only have a lien on them if we have infringed upon the exactly equal rights of others. How many times have you heard someone say something like: “We all have the same rights… EXCEPT ________” (fill in the blank: Homosexuals, Catholics, women, blacks, Muslims, smokers, etc), and then they go on to justify their dislike of this group of people. It’s much easier to decimate the rights of groups, than of individuals. Think of how obvious that would be: “We all have the same rights, except John Doe, because he hates what I like.” We are all entitled to our preferences and opinions. But we must retain the philosophical principle that those we dislike are still sovereign individuals with the same unalienable rights as we have, if we are to retain any semblance of freedom. I maintain that we have not lost our political fortitude so much as we have lost our philosophical principles. We surrender logic to emotions. We surrender sovereign individuality to “ community ”, seeing the community as the first cause, filled with pieces, instead of knowing the community is a by-product of the individuals who live there. And believing others owe us, because we have need--that need somehow trumps ability, and desire over-rules productivity. Back to the spectacle of pleas for pity: "When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.” - Ayn Rand Have you sacrificed your sovereignty and responsibility to threats and demands? “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” - Thomas Jefferson
 
Debbie Schum is chairman of the Libertarian Party of Delta County.

Cost of Federal Regulation Grew to $1.16 Trillion

Americans burdened by government’s '10,000 Commandments.'

cei.org - July 10, 2008

cei.JPG
 

(PRNewsChannel) / Washington, D.C. - What goes up and doesn’t come down?  The federal budget and the cost of federal regulations.  A new report finds that the cost of federal regulations on consumers at a staggering $1.16 trillion in 2007. 
 
“The bottom line is that federal government regulations ate nearly 10 percent of what the U.S. economy produced last year,” said Wayne Crews, CEI Vice President for Policy and author of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State
 
“At the same time,” said Crews, “government is also spending more than ever before -- $2.73 trillion; and the President has already submitted a $3 trillion spending plan for next year.  Between paying for government and paying to comply with government regulations, it’s a crushing burden for American businesses and workers.”
 
Among the report’s findings:
• Given that 2007 government spending reached $2.73 trillion, the hidden tax of regulation now approaches half the level of federal spending itself.
• Regulation costs more than seven times the $163 billion budget deficit.
• Regulations cost about as much as U.S. corporations earn in pre-tax profits ($1.16 trillion versus $1.3 trillion, respectively).
• Regulations cost about as much as individual income tax collections ($1.16 trillion versus 1.17 trillion, respectively).
• “Economically significant” regulations – new rules that cost at least $100 million -- increased by 14 percent between 2006 and 2007, from 139 to 159.
The solution to the crushing level of federal regulations on the lives and livelihoods of American workers?  The report urges a series of reforms to make the cost of regulation more transparent and accountable to the people.  For example, there should be annual “report cards” on the costs and benefits of regulations.  And Congress should be required to vote on significant agency rules before they become binding.
 
Read the report:
Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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