WLO banner ad

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What nerve.

This from the Denver Post's coverage of Ward Churchill's ongoing trial against the University of Colorado:

Churchill's attorney, David Lane, asked why it was necessary for the regents to allow review of all Churchill's writings.

"Where do you guys get off looking at every word he has ever written when the only thing he wrote that upset you was the 9/11 essay?" Lane asked.

Let's see, the regents are Churchill's boss. Part of Churchill's job is to publish academic work. Why indeed would a boss want to see an employee's work? Those regents have some nerve, I tell ya. 

Cut out the middleman

The Denver Post has this story today:


A bipartisan group of state lawmakers unveiled a slate of dramatic education proposals Monday with the goal of bolstering Colorado's school-reform credentials enough to win a $1 billion prize.

Only about 10 states will be selected to win what Sen. Chris Romer called "the golden ticket," an approximately $500 million grant from the federal government's new Race to the Top program that will go to the states making the biggest strides in education reform. Romer and other lawmakers said private foundations are expected to match the federal prize, leading to a one-time windfall that has the potential to remake the Colorado education landscape.

"There's too much money at stake to stand still," said Romer, D-Denver.

Yep, that's a lot of money the feds are going to dish out.

Where did they get it? Oh yeah, from people that live in the states fighting for it.

So, the feds take money from people that live in the various states, then make those same people, via their state represenatives, do a song and dance in order to get their own money back. And, of couse, the feds take a cut for all their hard work.

To whom does this make sense?

The War on Drugs funds terrorism

The front page of today’s Denver Post includes this article from the Associated Press:

U.S. to strike at drug trade

WASHINGTON — American authorities are planning a broad new campaign to choke off the prime source of financing for terrorists in Afghanistan, sending in dozens of federal drug-enforcement agents to disrupt the country's massive opium trade and the money that streams to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Neither police nor military force can overcome market force. The only way to take away drug profits from the terrorists is by competition. Take away the price premium created by the black market, and the illegal profits dry up. Legalize the drugs and allow legitimate markets.

Phillip Morris and Anhueser-Busch sell legal drugs, and the profit does not go to terrorists. 

The only argument against legalizing other drugs is that drugs are bad and it is unpalatable to legalize them. Granted.

But how unpalatable is terrorism? Ignoring the cost/benefit analysis does not make the cost go away. The cost of the “War on Drugs” includes terrorist funding.

Monday, March 30, 2009

DNC Web Ad: The Number Zero, Brought To You By The Party Of N-O

The Republicans deserve the ridicule. The Democrats deserve our disdain. Reject the two party duopoly. Join the Libertarian Party.

Saving the Electoral College and Federalism

One can not help but notice the slightly less "progressive" stance the Denver Post editorial board has taken since the death of the Rocky Mountain News.

Vincent Carroll, the generally libertarian-minded former editorial page editor of the Rocky is now on the Post editorial board. Has he wielded such great influence? Perhaps.

The most recent example of the trend comes in today's edition of the Post, where the editorial board comes out against HB-1299. HB-1299, when in effect, would give Colorado's presidential electoral votes to which ever candidate won the national popular vote, regardless of whom the people of Colorado actually select.

Proponents of the bill say that only the national populat vote should matter in a presidential election and that the Electoral College is outdated and unnecessary. 

The Post correctly points out that, "In a republic, such as ours, states matter. And small states, such as Colorado, now can have an influence in a presidential election."

The Post also believes that
the Electoral College system gives more of the country a voice in selecting the president, even though its detractors say it gives small states a disproportionately large role. Even the smallest states get three electoral votes.
Heck yes, and it should stay that way. That is the entire point. The individual United States are sovereign. Abolishing the electoral college makes the individual states less important to the Union as a whole. 

And if the argument of abolishing the electoral college succeeds, then it naturally follows that the small states should not have two senators.  Why should Wyoming have just as much say in the Senate as California? That means an individual vote in Wyoming is worth more than an individual vote in California.

Absolutely right. The people of Wyoming - and Colorado - neither need nor want federal laws imposed on them by the people of California and New York. 

Let freedom ring.

Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains the meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cut out the middleman

On the front page of today's online vesion of the Denver Post, there is a link to a story concerning the 7.2% unemployment rate in Colorado.

The front page description of the longer article says

Colo. jobless stunner03/28/2009 12:23 AM MDTThe rate jumps to 7.2%, the steepest in decades. But the mark triggers more federal benefits. New state unemployment figures, the highest in more than 20 years, triggered a 13-week extension in federal unemployment benefits.
(Emphasis added).

The writer, like many others, seems to think it is good that additional federal benefits are now available to address the unemployment situation in Colorado.

It is not. The feds got that money from the people that are now unemployed. They took it via federal income tax and, payroll deductions and other taxes.

If the feds had not taken all of that money from the then productive but now unemployed, the unemployed would not need their own money given back to them.

And, of course, the feds take a cut for their effort. The feds have to get paid for their valuable help, ya know.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Brother Harsanyi preaches the gospel of supply and demand

Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi, once again, shows how the "war on drugs" is a misguided attempt to override market forces by legislation.

The government might was all try to legislate away gravitational forces in an effort to stop plane crashes.

Both plane crashes and mind altering drugs have negative effects on society, so should we not legislate them away? It is an "Alice in Wonderland" absurd suggestion.

Aother point not mentioned by Harsanyi in this column is that the more the supply is decreased by law enforcement, the more profit the cartels get. It's the whole "supply and demand" thing to which "conservatives" give lip service when it suits their needs, but somehow forget when it comes to this futile waste of resources in an effort to stop market forces.

The drug war is another example of how the two-party duopoly looks to the state to solve all of society's problems, real and imagined.


The state is not the solution. The state is the problem.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More government does not make the world a better place.

The Denver Post encourages the U.S. Senate to expand AmeriCorps.

In an editorial, "A renewal of Kennedy's call for national service," The Post says
"Considering the trillions being spent on bailouts for failing companies, the $6 billion that would be spent on this program over five years is a wise investment in the infrastructure and fabric of our country."
In other words, since we have wasted trillions of dollars on socializing failed businesses, what's another $6 billion gonna hurt?

Colorado's own freshman representative, Jared Polis, is all in favor of the bill. According to a NOLA.com article, Polis thinks the bill "reaches out to all Americans from all walks of life and asks them to commit to service. During these difficult times, our nation needs the help of each and every one of us more than ever."

Polis, like other statists, has confused "each and every one of us" with "another government program." Subsitute the latter phrase with the former one. That's what Polis is really saying.

Of course, Barack Obama makes the same mistake. He believes that
"At this moment of economic crisis, when so many people are in need of help and so much needs to be done, this could not be more urgent. It is up to every one of us to do his or her small part to make the world a better place.”
The effect of expanding AmeriCorps is not to help "every one of us do his or her small part to make the world a better place." The effect is to expand government in a misguided and futile attempt to make the world a better place. 

Allowing "each and every one of us" to keep our own money would do more to advance public service than expanding another government program.

Two separate concepts are being confused by Polis, Obama and many others. The first concept is private philanthropy. The second is government coercion. Hardly from being synonymous, they are opposites.

South Carolina Senator Jim Demint has it right:
“Civil society works because it’s everything that government is not – it’s small, it’s personal, it’s responsive, it’s accountable. Civil society must be protected from anything that makes it more like government."

Even the Denver Post is against "card check"

One should give credit where it is due. The Denver Post deserves credit for its editorial stance against the Employee Free Choice Act.

The EFCA would, among other things, allow labor unions to require workers to vote "yay" or "nay" for unionization in public, face to face with union organizers.

This "card-check" provision is reminiscent of a Soviet style election where the choice is either to vote the "right" way or suffer the consequences. That the unions have the gumption to even propose this shows how emboldened they are by the election of Obama and the electorate's repudiation of the Republican Party. (Why the Republican Party has earned its repudiation is another story.)

The Post states, "we oppose this bill, as it not only undercuts the rights of workers but threatens Colorado's economy." Even while making a principled stand in favor of secret ballots and individual liberty, the Post makes an erroneous assumption. 

"Colorado's economy" does not exist as some individual entity, separate and apart from the economy of the United States or the entire world. A policy is either good for the economy or it is not. It makes no sense to concentrate on any micro-economic portion of the economy to the exclusion of the whole. It is akin to concentrating on what's good for your nose to the exclusion of what's good for your entire body. As far as I know, hemlock might smell good.

The Post notes that several "moderate" Democrats have publicly come out against the bill. It calls for Colorado's two freshmen senators, Democrats Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, to do the same.

So, Mark and Mike, what are you wating for? Polling data? Take a stand.

P.S. I am impressed with the unions' ability to get supporters to attack the editorial. As I post this, numerous pro-union comments have been posted to the online version of the editorial attacking the Post and those that agree with it.

Those of us that understand economics and believe in freedom need to do the same. That's part of what the People's Press Collective, the Gadsden Society and Liberty on the Rocks are all about - spreading the message of individual liberty over the power of the state.

Let freedom ring.

Daniel Hannan, Member of European Parliament, from the UK

"The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government"

It is invigorating to hear the truth, even from Europe.

Hannan could be giving this speech in the U.S. by substituting "Obama" for "Brown."

Let freedom ring.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another victory in the war on drugs.

A 13 year old Arizona girl was stripsearched at school for suspicion of carrying extra-strength Ibuprofen.

God bless America.

Her lawsuit has reached the United States Supreme Court. The New York Times has the story.

The loss of basic human decency is a small price to pay to stop the scourge of drugs. Right?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's never about the money.

Another exchange from the Denver Post's coverage of Warch Churchill's testimony in support of his lawsuit against the University of Colorado:

"Are you sitting here asking this jury to give you money?" his attorney, David Lane asked.

"No," Churchill answered.

"What are you asking for?" Lane asked.

"I want my job and I want restitution and acknowledgment that the entire process to remove me from the university was fraudulent," Churchill said.

So, he does NOT want money, but he wants restitution? It's the same thing, Ward.

In his Complaint against the University of Colorado, he specifically asks for "Damages in an amount to be proven at trial, prejudgment and postjudgment interest, attorneys' fees . . . and costs."

That's all money, Ward.

Apparently Ward's understanding of the English language is as good as his scholarship.

CU's attorney should remind the jury that Ward said he didn't want any money. 

The doctor is "in"

Ward Churchill was asked what title he would like used while testifying during his lawsuit against the University of Colorado. He replied, "I prefer professor, but doctor will do. I'm entitled to that."

In 1992, Big Chief Sitting Cracker was, indeed, given an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from Alfred University.

Let's examine the value of an honorary doctorate, shall we?

Some other recipients of Honorary Doctorates include:

Robert Mugabe - Has been awarded THREE Honorary Doctorates. One each from Edinburgh University (1984), the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1986) and Michigan State (1990).

Slade - Each member of this group of  "glam rockers"  were awarded Honorary Doctorates in 2002 by the University of Wolverhampton.

Mike Tyson - The former heavywieght champ of the world and convicted rapist was given an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Central Ohio State University in 1989.  

Kermit the Frog - The lovable muppet was given an Honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters from Southampton College at Long Island University in 1996.  

I think Chief Sitting Cracker fits right in with these academic heavyweights.  

For other honorary doctorates, check out this blog post.

Monday, March 23, 2009

HB 1238 -Civil Forfeiture - died in committee today

This is the email from Christie Donner of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, announcing what happened to the bill. 

We can make a difference. We did make a difference.  

This battle is won, but the fight for liberty continues......  

From Christie:
Hi everyone I just listened in to the House Judiciary Committee where Rep Rice asked and the committee unanimously voted to kill HB 1238 with the understanding that he would be introducing a new bill.  
Rep Rice said he would be willing to meet with opponents but he recognized that it wasn’t likely that there would be consensus and he anticipated that his new bill would also be controversial.  
Rep Rice indicated that one of his primary reasons for sponsoring HB 1238 was to bring more forfeitures back to state court, rather than having federal forfeitures. His comment was that the reforms in 2002 made it virtually impossible to do state forfeitures so law enforcement are forced to go to federal court where there are fewer due process protections for property owners.  
I don’t think that Rep Rice is aware of the state law that restricts state/local law enforcement from seeking federal forfeiture unless the property owner is convicted in federal criminal court and that current practice by law enforcement may actually violate state law.  
I’ve only briefly reviewed the new bill but it would, among many other things, lower the burden of proof back down to a preponderance of evidence (rather than the current “clear and convincing” standard; and allow law enforcement agencies (including DAs) to directly receive the majority of proceeds for their agency use.  
Thank you for all your help.  
It’s really important that we continue to stay involved.  
Christie

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Help stop the expansion of state power over innocent citizens. Right now.

From our friends at CCJRC: Send emails and phone calls as soon as you read this alert. Stop this horrendous, statist legislation.

CCJRC ACTION ALERT

Hearing on HB 1238 Civil Forfeiture.

March 23, 2009 at 1:30pm in House Judiciary Committee

It is possible to kill this bill. Your calls and emails are making a difference. If you haven’t had a chance to call legislators, please do so before 1:30 p.m. March 23rd.

Right now would be an excellent time to do it.

So far we have heard from the following members of the House Judiciary Committee that they OPPOSE HB 1238. If you contact them, please thank them for their opposition and their commitment to preserving due process and property rights.

Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder), chairman – 303-866-2578, claire.levy.house@state.co.us

Rep. Dennis Apuan (D-El Paso), 303-866-3069, repdennisapuan@gmail.com

Rep. Bob Gardner (R-El Paso), 303-866-2191, bob.gardner.house@state.co.us

Rep. Joe Miklosi (D-Denver), 303-866-2910, joe@joemiklosi.com

Rep. Sal Pace (D-Pueblo), 303-866-2968, sal_pace@hotmail.com

Rep. Mark Waller (R-El Paso), 303-866-5525, mark.waller.house@state.co.us

We do not yet know the positions of the following members of the House Judiciary Committee. If you contact them, please urge them to OPPOSE HB 1238.

Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver), vice-chairman – 303-866-2959, ehmccann@comcast.net

Rep. Lois Court (D-Denver), 303-866-2967, loiscourt@msn.com

Rep. Steve King (R-Delta), 303-866-3068, steve.king.house@state.co.us

Rep. Ellen Roberts (R-Archuleta), 303-866-2914, ellen.roberts.house@state.co.us

Rep. Su Ryden (D-Arapahoe), 303-866-2942, su@suryden.com

As always, thank you for all you do.

Action Alert – Oppose HB 1238 (civil forfeiture)

Please forward this action alert to any of your friends and family that value due process and property rights. The Colorado Springs Gazette published an editorial in opposition to HB 1238. To read it, click here: http://t.ymlp77.com/qhaxauwhavahmjakaemyj/click.php

HB 1238 is opposed by a diverse, bi-partisan coalition including:

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, Independence Institute, ACLU, Colorado Union of Taxpayers, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission, The Center for Justice, Peace & Environment, SAFER Colorado, Pendulum Foundation, Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center, Metro Community Church of the Rockies, Drug Policy Alliance, Colorado Libertarian Party, Empowerment Program, Alexandria Temple, National Lawyer’s Guild-Colorado, Law Offices of Phil Cherner, Sensible Colorado, Colorado CURE, Cynergetics Institute, Kilmer, Lane and Newman, Youth Transformation, Charities House Ministries, Montview Presbyterian-Peace & Justice Taskforce, New Foundations Nonviolence Center, Left Hand Book Collective, Turnabout, Surrounded by Recovery, Progress Now, 9-5 National Association of Working Women-Colorado, Road Called Strate.

What is “civil forfeiture”

Civil forfeiture is used by law enforcement to seize personal property (real estate, cash, jewelry, etc.) they believe was used during the commission of a criminal offense or is proceeds from criminal activity. When property is seized, prosecutors then file a civil forfeiture action against the property and, if the prosecution prevails, the property owner loses all right, title and interest in the property.

Current forfeiture law requires that:

· In most cases, a person must be convicted of a criminal offense before their property (cash, real estate, cars, etc.) can be forfeited for being involved in or proceeds of criminal activity.

· Law enforcement and prosecutors are not allowed to directly keep proceeds from forfeitures but are reimbursed for actual expenses related to the seizure and forfeiture. Once lienholders, innocent co-owners and victims are compensated, any remaining balance is divided 50% to fund substance abuse treatment at the local level and 50% to the county commissioners/city council (depending on whether police or sheriff did the seizure) to fund “public safety”.

· Law enforcement is required to submit an annual forfeiture report to Dept of Local Affairs.

These changes came about pursuant to the passage of HB 02-1404 in the 2002 legislative session. HB 02-1404 was sponsored by (then) Representative Shawn Mitchell (R-Broomfield) and (then) Senator Bill Thiebaut (D-Pueblo). HB 1404 was a bi-partisan effort that passed in the House on a 51-11 vote and passed the Senate on a 23-10 vote. HB 1404 also received editorial board support from the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Grand Junction Sentinel, Colorado Springs Gazette, and Durango Herald.

WHAT HB 09-1238 WOULD DO:

1. Erodes reasonable protections for property owners by

a. repealing the requirement that someone be convicted of a criminal offense before their property can be forfeited. (in a civil forfeiture action, a property owner does not have 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination nor the right to counsel)

b. allowing for forfeiture even if the owner didn’t know that the property was used in violation of the law under the theory that he/she “reasonably should have known.”

c. repealing the requirement that the plaintiff prove that the property being forfeited was instrumental in the commission of an offense.

2. Reintroduces the profit motive to law enforcement and no longer requires forfeiture proceeds to be allocated through an accountable budgeting entity (like City Council or County Commissions) but rather allows law enforcement and prosecutors to keep a majority of the proceeds directly.

3. Removes any transparency and accountability by repealing all forfeiture reporting requirements and repeals the prohibition on transfer of forfeiture cases out of state court when local or state law enforcement were the seizing agency, with limited exceptions.

CONCLUSION:

Current law ensures that forfeiture actions are fair and that property owners have due process without undermining law enforcement’s ability to use forfeiture as a legitimate tool. Current law also brings the revenue generated from asset forfeiture into an appropriate budget process and provides accountability while removing any appearance of impropriety. HB 09-1238 repeals these fundamental principals of fairness and due process. It also creates an unacceptable profit motive for law enforcement.

http://www.ccjrc.org/

=============

Please forward this e-mail to friends and family who are concerned about defending our freedoms!

My contact information:

David K. Williams, Jr.

President, The Gadsden Society

cell 303-588-2731

Let freedom ring.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The fight for government accountability and transparency continues...

Hearings on two government transparency bills will be held tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, 2009. 

The fight is far from over. If these issues matter to you, TAKE ACTION.

Senate Bill 57 - the School District Transparency Act - public input will be heard at 1:30 p.m.

Senate Bill 87 - the Special District Accountability Act - public input will be heard "upon adjournment." Which could be as early as 9:30 a.m.

More information direct from each bill's sponsor:

From Senator Ted Harvey:

As you know, Senate Bill 57 -- the School District Transparency Act -- passed the Senate last month with bipartisan support. 

Now the bill faces its next major hurdle in the House Education committee. My co-sponsor in the House, Representative Amy Stephens, is a skilled legislator who is the best possible advocate to get this bill through the House. 

Amy will be presenting the bill in the House Education committee this Thursday at 1:30 pm. It is vital that the committee members witness the strong public support for government transparency. 

You can help Amy pass SB 57 in two ways: 

You can attend the committee hearing this Thursday to testify in favor of the bill. Your testimony does not have to be detailed - you can simply state why you support government transparency, or share any experience you have about this issue. 

The hearing will take place in House Committee Room 0112 in the basement of the capitol. If you cannot attend but would still like to listen to the debate, you can stream live audio through this link:

http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2009a/cslFrontPages.nsf/Audio?OpenForm

I also encourage you to call or e-mail the members of the House Education committee and urge them to support Senate Bill 57. I've included the names and e-mails of the committee members below.

I hope you can help pass this important piece of legislation. I'll keep you updated.

Sincerely,

Ted Harvey

House Education Committee members: 

Mike Merrifield - 303-866-2932 - Michael.merrifield.house@state.co.us

Judy Solano - 303-866-2918 - judy.solano.house@state.co.us
Randy Baumgardner - 303-866-2949 - randy.baumgardner.house@state.co.us
Debbie Benefield - 303-866-2950 - Debbie@debbiebenefield.org
Tom Massey - 303-866-2747 - tom.massey.house@state.co.us
Karen Middleton - 303-866-3911 - Karen@karenmiddleton.com
Carol Murray - 303-866-2948 - murrayhouse45@gmail.com
Cherylin Peniston - 303-866-2843 - cherylin.peniston.house@state.co.us
Kevin Priola - 303-866-2912 - kpriola@gmail.com
Christine Scanlan - 303-866-2952 - Christine.scanlan.house@state.co.us
Sue Schafer - 303-866-5522 - sue.schafer.house@state.co.us
Ken Summers - 303-866-2927 - ken.summers.house@state.co.us
Nancy Todd - 303-866-2919 - nancy.todd.house@state.co.us

 

=======

SB - 87 The Special District Accountability Act

 From Representative Cherylin Peniston:

 Dear all, I was given your names by Senator Carroll because you have been involved in helping pass SB 087.  I am the House sponsor and will present this bill to the House Local Government Committee on Thursday, March 19.  It meets upon recess on Thursday morning.  Recess means whenever we finish working on the floor of the House, so it is not very convenient, I'm afraid.  We could start as early as 9:30 or somewhat later.  Would any of you be available to come down and testify as to the need for this bill?  It would really help get it passed.

Thanks, 

Rep. Cherylin Peniston

 If you can't attend, please contact the members of the committee and tell them you SUPPORT SB 87 and want to reign in the abuses of Special Districts.

 Members of the House Local Government Committee

 Cherylin Peniston, Chairman - 303-866-2843 - cherylin.peniston.house@state.co.us

John Soper, Vice-Chairman - 303-866-2931 -  john.soper.house@state.co.us

Cindy Acree - 303-866-2944 - cindy.acree.house@state.co.us

Laura Bradford - 303-866-2583 - laurabradford55@gmail.com

Larry Liston - 303-866-2965 - larry.liston.house@state.co.us

Wes McKinley - 303-866-2398 - wes.mckinley.house@state.co.us

Karen Middleton -  303-866-3911 - karen@karenmiddleton.com

Sue Schafer - 303-866-5522 - sue.schafer.house@state.co.us

Scott Tipton - 303-866-2955 - COHD58@yahoo.com

Edward Vigil - 303-866-2916 edvigil1@gmail.com

Mark Waller -303-866-5525 mark.waller.house@state.co.us

 Let freedom ring.

=============

 

Please forward this message to friends and family who are concerned about defending our freedoms!

 

 

My contact information:

David K. Williams, Jr.

President, Gadsden Society of Colorado

cell 303-588-2731

Sirota's misunderstanding of the "free-market" concept.

In a recent column, David Sirota expressed dismay at certain Republicans’ position on health care.

On one hand, he declares, Republicans favor free market competition to solve the health care situation in the United States.

On the other hand, he says, Republicans oppose allowing government run health insurance to compete with private insurance on the open market.

Sirota finds this baffling and inconsistent.

It is neither.

I will attempt to explain. Private insurance companies have to make a profit. A government run program has no such requirement. 

If a private company found itself losing to other health insurance companies, it must either improve its performance or die.

If a government run entity found itself losing to other health insurance companies, it asks Congress for more money.

See the difference?

A government run entity does not have to compete. It is not shackled by the quaint notion of profit. Losing money does not put a government run program out of business.

If one player can not lose, it ain’t competition.

Sirota asks why don’t Republicans “welcome a private-versus-public competition, believing that the former will easily trump the latter?”

The question is the economic version of, "When did you stop beating your wife?"

The question itself makes an incorrect assumption, from which nothing but an incorrect answer can follow.

I have never beaten my wife. The government never competes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Help solve the Cherry Creek Mall's parking problems


I attended a breakfast meeting at the J.W. Marriott on March 5, 2009. The hotel is across the street from the Cherry Creek Mall. My meeting started at 7:00 in the morning. Several attendees of the meeting parked in a surface lot of the mall, directly in front of a restaurant.

Mall security noticed what was going on, and they called the folks at the Marriott and said they would start towing cars if they weren't moved. The Marriott folks told the mall people that the meeting people were attending would be over by 8:30.

Mall security was not swayed by this knowledge. They put these stickers on at least 20 cars.

These "FINAL WARNING" signs were deemed necessary, notwithstanding that the restaurant spaces we were using did not serve breakfast. Even if it did, the restuarant was out of business. Completely closed. It wasn't going to be serving lunch or dinner on March 5 or any day soon. It is still closed as of today.

The Cherry Creek Mall itself does not open until 10:00 in the morning.

I am going to do my part to help solve the Cherry Creek Mall parking problem. I will not use any of their spaces. March 5, 2009 was the last time I will take up a parking spot at the Cherry Creek Mall.

The next time I chose to frequent a mall, I will use the ample parking provided by the Town Center of Aurora or the ample parking provided by the Park Meadows Mall.

Retail is a competitive business. Cherry Creek Mall has landed in the loser's column.
Posted by Picasa

InDenverTimes Intro

Some former employees of the Rocky Mountain News are trying to launch an online only version of the paper. Check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nomination for "Ignorant Statement of the Year" by a head of state

According to the current P.J. O'Rourke column in The Weekly Standard, Barack Obama recently 

said that scientific progress "results from painstaking and costly research, from years of lonely trial and error, much of which never bears fruit, and from a government willing to support that work."

As O'Rourke notes, 

Thus it was that without King George's courtiers winding kite string for Ben Franklin and splitting firewood and flipping eye charts to advance his painstaking and costly research into electricity, stoves, and bifocals, Ben's years of lonely trial and error never would have borne fruit.

We'd probably have telephones and light bulbs if President Rutherford B. Hayes (a Republican) had been willing to support the work of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

Wait. You mean Franklin invented stuff without government subsidies? Bell didn't either? Not even Edison?

So it is not only possible  that scientific progress will take place without government largesse, it is actually likely.

One's imagination runs wild at the prospect.

Breaking News: Rep. Anne L. McGihon Resigns on House Floor

Rep. Anne L. McGihon, (D - Democrat), resigned her seat today on the house floor.

McGhihon, who represented District 3,  said she has rejoined her old law firm and will be spending half of her time in Washington, D.C.  She has already missed several votes on the house floor this session.

Her replacement will be chosen by the House District 3 Vacancy Committee, which is comprised of precinct members and other Democrats from that district.

More as the story developes.


Backlash against costly government DNA database builds

March 16, 2009 Denver - Colorado Senate Bill 09-241, which would mandate the use of government force to take DNA samples from innocent citizens, made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 5-1 margin on March 11, 2009. A wide range of groups have joined together to fight this un-American bill, which would cost taxpayers over $1.7 million to implement.

The Libertarian Party of Colorado, the Colorado ACLU, the Gadsden Society, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Colorado Public Defenders Office, among others, all oppose this costly Orwellian expansion of government power over innocent Americans.

David K. Williams, Jr., Legislative Director for the Libertarian Party and President of the Gadsden Society is among those against the bill.

“The backers of this bill claim it will help law enforcement. Undoubtedly it would,” Williams said. “So would the repeal of the Fourth Amendment. So would micro chipping newborns so the government knows where they are all at times, from cradle to grave. So would putting video cameras in every house.

“The point is that helping law enforcement is not the only concern Americans should have. Protecting the Constitution and preventing government abuse of power should also be a concern of all Americans.”

The next stop for the bill is the Senate Appropriations Committee, where a hearing date has not yet been set. If the Appropriations Committee decides it is a good idea to spend $1.7 million of taxpayer money to implement the proposed DNA database, the bill would move to the floor of the Senate for debate.

Senator Morgan Carroll (D – Aurora) was the lone “no” vote in the Judiciary Committee.

Resources

SB 09-241 language:

http://www.leg.state.co.us/Clics/CLICS2009A/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/A33C46D1F9F4F2EC87257553007F530D?Open&file=241_01.pdf

SB 09-241 Fiscal Impact note:

http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2009a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/A33C46D1F9F4F2EC87257553007F530D?Open&file=SB241_00.pdf

SB 09-241 Senate Judiciary Committee Roll Call vote:

http://www.leg.state.co.us/Clics/CLICS2009A/csl.nsf/BillFoldersSenate?openFrameset

 

About the Gadsden Society

The Gadsden Society is a non-partisan public advocacy group, fighting for the preservation and expansion of individual liberty throughout Colorado.

The Gadsden Society monitors bills pending in the state legislature and advocates on behalf of legislation that expands individual liberty and opposes legislation that contracts individual liberty.

Contact information

David K. Williams, Jr.
President, The Gadsden Society
4155 East Jewell Avenue
Suite 401
Denver, CO
Telephone 303-588-2731
Facsimile 303-753-4599

###

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat

The influential blog Real Clear Politics declares "Republican Earmarks Taint Criticism."

As an example, RealClearPolitics points to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. On the recent budget and its earmarks, McConnell said:

"In the midst of a serious economic downturn, the Senate had a chance to show it could impose the same kind of restraint on itself that millions of Americans are being forced to impose on themselves at the moment," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

Following the vote, McConnell issued a press release that simultaneously announced his opposition to what he said was an oversized bill and touted the millions of dollars he personally brought home to Kentucky.

This Alice In Wonderland, Orwellian absurdity is our fault. It aint' THEIR fault. It's OUR fault.

They do it because we not only let them do it, we demand they do it. If they don't bring it home, we vote for someone that will.

The only way to change politicians is to change us.

We vote for the status quo, we get the status quo.

That really should not be a shock to anyone.

What some have not considered, however, is that voting for members of the two-party duopoly that perpetuates this nonsense is indeed a vote for the status quo.

Will either the national or the Kentucky GOP take McConnell to the woodshed for his nonsense? Of course not. If they do, the Democrats will use the criticism against him in the next election.

If the Democrats get that seat, then Democratic causes and donors will get the pork. Not the Republican causes and donors that McConnell just paid off.

And make no mistake. The two party duopoly has only one overriding goal. That goal is retaining power.

It is not smaller government. It is not liberty. It is not free markets. It is not your individual well-being.

It is winning. It is controlling the pork.

Helping and supporting the two party duopoly is complicity in our own robbery. (I think John Galt said substantially the same thing).

And until we start doing something about it, until we fundamentally change the way we approach our passive acceptance of the two party duopoly, we can all just keep writing checks to Mitch McConnell's favorite Kentucky causes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

BeerBottleExplosions

Pro Free Market Demonstration at the capitol March 13, 2009.

Let freedom ring.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beer Protectionism Protest - With Smashing Bottles!


MEDIA CONFERENCE 3/13: Contact Ari Armstrong

ISSUE: Allow Grocery Sales of Real Beer, End Protectionism

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Smashing Beer Bottles to protest beer protectionism and advocate liberty in beer sales

WHEN AND WHERE: West Steps, Colorado Capitol, 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 13

SPEAKERS: Ari Armstrong, publisher of FreeColorado.com
Amanda Teresi, founder of Liberty on the Rocks
Dave Williams, president of the Gadsden Society and Legislative Director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado
Additional speakers pending

"Grocery stores have a right to sell regular beer to consenting adults, and beer drinkers have the right to shop at stores of their choice. By killing Bill 1192 Wednesday, the legislature maintained unjust protectionism at the cost of individual liberty, property rights, and freedom of association," said Ari Armstrong.

Armstrong will smash beer bottles from Colorado brewers who endorsed protectionism. The event will feature appropriate measures for safety and cleanup, so no beer or glass will be left on state property.

"The protectionists are smashing our liberty, so it's only appropriate that we smash their beer," Armstrong said.

Brewers who opposed 1192, thereby endorsing protectionism, include the
following:





Monday, March 09, 2009

Accusation is not proof

An excerpt from 2008 Olom Award recipient Patrick Burke's acceptance speech regarding criminal defense lawyers:

...members of the legislature...  they insinuate that we [criminal defense attorneys] are radicals, but it is they who are radicals, they who would encroach upon our constitution, our right to counsel, a principal that has existed for over 200 years, a principal that has always meant and means today zealous, effective, skillful, hard working representation and those people that mock that, they are radicals... Every man and woman, no matter how wretched the allegations, they have the right to have us defending them and when that right is eroded, liberty itself is eroded.

Amen, brother.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

More reasons I'm not a Republican

1. From Face the State:

Wadhams challenger sets sights on young, libertarian-minded conservatives.

Wadhams is the Chair of the Republican Party in Colorado. Dick Stone is challenging him. Stone says:

groups like Liberty on the Rocks and Save our State as examples of conservative groups that don't necessarily identify with the party's socially conservative values.

"We have to think about what does smaller government mean to the millennium generation," Stone contemplated during his interview. "A lot of these younger people believe smaller government means not having a big government with a lot of regulations that tells us how to live our lives. When they say lower taxes, what they really mean is they want to keep more of their own money to lead their own lives."

Stone is right. Electing him would be a step in the right direction for Colorado Republicans. Of course, they won't elect him. The GOP will demonstrate once again it has no interest in changing its failed policies and strategies. Join the LP.


2. From Steven Thomma of the McClatchy Newspapers:

Both parties love big government - just different programs

Thomma begins:

Strip away the political finger pointing over President Obama's proposed budget and the fight boils down to a clash of values. Both major parties are really for big government — just big in different places.

All I can say is, "No crap."

Anybody that has been paying attention knows this.

Reject the two party duopoly. They both favor big government intervention into your private life and your pocketbook.

Join the Libertarian Party.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

More from the Democrats

I got another email from the Democrats. This one is from Jen O'Malley Dillon, the Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee.

I won't repost the entire thing this time, but they are really making fun of Rush Limbaugh.

There's really no challenge in that. Picking on the loud, fat, obnoxious kid? C'mon. It's too easy.

According to the email, the Dems are having a contest. I'll let Ms. O'Malley Dillon explain:

We need you to come up with a slogan, in ten words or less, that we'll put on a billboard where he can't miss it -- in his hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida. We'll go through all the slogans we get, and the winner will have his or her message appear on the billboard -- and receive a free T-shirt featuring the winning slogan.
I am so glad the two major parties are engaged in such important, mature dialogue. It goes like this: 

"You SUCK."
"No, YOU suck."

Ms. O'Malley Dillon continues. She says that, "Choosing Rush Limbaugh to be the voice of their party -- as Republican leaders have done -- is not the answer."

I know Media Matters will be all over that blatant distortion and lie. I don't get the Republican memos, but I am pretty sure the Republicans did NOT chose Rush Limbaugh to do anything. Radio programmers did.

The obnoxious kid is being ridiculed by the cool kids in the Democratic Party because he said he "hoped" President Obama's policies fail. 

Ms. O'Malley Dillon is aghast. "Americans want President Obama to succeed. Our country's future depends on it. Rooting for the President's failure is rooting for our country to fail," she said.

What Mr. Limbaugh should have said is that he "knows" the President will fail. It is much more accurate.

If I drop a bowling ball, I KNOW it will fall. Hope has nothing to do with it. Rush should know that.

Maybe he missed his oxycontin that day.