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Saturday, February 26, 2011

No public money to subsidize the ski industry.

Because of all the weekend skiers heading home, it can take 3 to 4 hours or more to travel east from Summit County back to the front range on a Sunday afternoon in the winter.

This Sunday afternoon congestion headed east on I-70 has been the source of much discussion - and consternation - lately. See "Experts suggest 'preferred option' to ease Twin Tunnels bottleneck on I-70" from the Denver Post and "Fix I-70 Day" on the Huffington Post.

Some of the suggestions to fix the problem are highlighted in these two articles.

All of them cost millions and millions (and millions) of dollars. Let us cut right to the chase... the ski chase, that is. Here is a crazy idea: make those that profit off the use of the public highways pay for their expansion.

If the Summit County resorts, and those farther west like Vail and Beaver Creek, want better access to their services, they should pay for that improved access. There is no good reason that the taxpayers of Colorado pay to improve the bottom line of private business.

Why should a family in Pueblo that does not ski pay to help the ski industry? Why should anyone in Sterling that has never even been to the mountains pay to help the ski industry?

They should not.

Let the ski resorts come up with a plan. Let them pay for it. If it is not worth it to them, why should it be worth it to anyone else?

It should not.

Any government money to expand I-70 is nothing but corporate welfare and a subsidy to private business. "Progressives" should be against corporate welfare. "Conservatives" should be against subsidies.

Just a piece of paper...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Special thanks to the two Democrats that voted for HB 1205

Rep. Chris Holbert's HB-1205 "Concerning the authority of a law-abiding person to carry a concealed handgun without a permit," passed the House Judiciary Committee with an 8-3 vote yesterday. All six Republican members of the committee voted for it, and Democrats Pete Lee and Daniel Kagan also voted "aye."

The two Democrats will undoubtedly get some heat from some of their constituents.

I just sent an email to them both thanking them for their vote. I think we all should. Let's let them know we appreciate it.

My email to each of them:

I wanted to take the time to let you know many of us appreciate your "yes" vote in the House Judiciary Committee on Rep. Holbert's HB 1205 regarding the carrying of concealed weapons by law-abiding citizens.

Thank you, Sir.

Rep Pete Lee's email: pete.lee.house@state.co.us
Rep Daniel Kagan's email: repkagan@gmail.com

Let's give them props when it is due. Maybe they'll keep doing the right thing.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Your privacy is not as important as law enforcement.

Colorado law enforcement held a press conference yesterday touting the effectiveness of "Katie's Law." (See "New DNA law ties suspects to 40 unsolved Colo. crimes.") The law requires law enforcement to take DNA from all people arrested on suspicion of a felony. The DNA is put into a national database to see if it matches any unsolved crimes across the country.

The Libertarian Party of Colo and the Gadsden Society fought this bill.

We readily conceded that it helps law enforcement. That was never the issue.

The issue is the State taking your DNA and putting it into a national database before you have been convicted of ANYTHING.

Undoubtedly, taking DNA from infants at birth and putting it into a national database would help law enforcement, as well. Helping law enforcement should not be the only consideration - The Fourth Amendment should be considered, too.

"Conservatives" often chastise "progressives" for defending some expensive social program on the basis of it "saving just one life!" When it comes to law enforcement, all too often, "conservatives" make the same argument. They certainly did during debate on this bill two years ago.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I am not seeking a 2nd term as state chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado

I recently sent this email to the Board of Directors of the LPCO:

Dear Board:

I want to thank the Libertarian Party of Colorado for allowing me to serve as the State Chair for the past two years.

With my term expiring at the next state convention, I have thought long and hard about seeking a second term. After careful deliberation, I have decided not to seek re-election.

My commitment to libertarian principles and the Libertarian Party of Colorado remain steadfast.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another example of the complete disconnect between the "progressive" search for utopia and reality.

The State of Colorado spent $223 million in 2004 on a computer system to streamline the Medicaid and foodstamp programs in the state. It did not work.

So the State of Colorado spent another $44 million with Deloitte to consult on how to fix it. It still does not work. (See the Denver Post article "Feds target delays in aid.")

So the feds are coming in to audit. According to the Post:

In announcing the review to state officials, federal Medicaid managers said one point of focus would be pharmacy-based systems that tell dispensaries whether a client seeking drugs qualifies for aid. In the summer of 2009, 9-year-old Zumante Lucero died after a pharmacy allegedly wouldn't fill his asthma prescription despite proof the family qualified for Medicaid help.

And yet compassionate, statist, "progressives" think it is benevolent to force a similar, government run system on all of us via Obamacare.

Payday lenders, government force, and the power of the market.

Denver Post Editorial Writer Alicia Caldwell has an article on the effects of the Colorado legislature's regulation of payday lenders. (See "Hiding behind a tribe.")

Last legislative session, the General Assembly all but put the payday lenders out of business in Colorado with new regulations. Our elected representatives decided these lenders were "predatory" and taking unfair advantage of their customers.

Ignoring, of course, that none of the payday victims customers were forced to use the payday lenders nor lied to or defrauded in any way. In short, the benevolent know-it-all legislature substituted its judgment for that of people that voluntarily used a service. The legislature decided that those poor, uneducated dumbass poor people using the service were too dang stupid to be allowed to make their own decisions and needed their betters to protect themselves from their own stupidity.

Ain't government grand.

Now, it appears, some Indian tribes have the void and gotten into the payday loan business. Indian tribes, as sovereign nations, are not subject to state regulations. Republican Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is aghast*. He believes the Indian tribes have teamed up with payday lenders and are committing a ruse to avoid state regulation.

So what?

The entire scenario demonstrates the abject absurdity of state attempts to control markets. When there is a demand for a service, people will have that demand met, regardless of state regulation.

The government should not spend a dime restricting voluntary transactions between adults. I know, that simple proposition makes me a crazy radical, well outside the norm of modern political thought.

Thank god.
*Aren't Republicans supposed to believe in free markets and less regulation? It is a rhetorical question. Of course they don't. Not unless it's politically expedient.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tax incentives, like all incentives, work.

DaVita, the kidney care company, is relocating it's headquarters from California to Denver.

According to the Denver Post, DaVita is taking "advantage of a Colorado income-tax credit of 3.8 percent for up to five years because the company has created at least 20 jobs." (See "Kidney-care company DaVita is feeling at home on the front-range").

Incentives work. DaVita is bringing 300 "well paying jobs new to the state." That's 300 people that will pay taxes, buy stuff and otherwise contribute to the Colorado economy.

If a 3.8% tax credit for up to five years works so well, imagine how well a 100% tax credit for up to forever would work?

Incentives work. Every tax on production is a dis-incentive to produce. The removal of these dis-incentives, otherwise known as corporate income taxes, means more production and a higher quality of life for everyone in the state.

When asked if you support ag subsidies, Sen. Boozman, the right answer is one word: "No."

Newly elected Senator John Boozman, R-Ark., spent some time with Jonathan Karl of ABC News recently. His outstanding waffling qualifies him for a job as a line cook at Waffle House:

ABC News asked Boozman to get specific on budget cuts -- namely if farm subsidies should be on the cutting table.

“You know, it's easy to say you want a balanced budget amendment. It's easy to say in the abstract. But I'm asking you about a specific bit of spending that really affects your state, agriculture subsidies. Are you willing to see those significantly cut,” Karl asked.

“ Well you know I think again you establish the parameters,” Boozman said. “Once you do that then you know we get in and look and see you know what we can done.”


“We’re going to have to look at everything but ag subsidies are like everything else. That affects jobs,” the senator said. “Now listen, the one thing about agriculture is we've lost our manufacturing, we've lost a great deal of jobs overseas, lots of our industry. The last thing in the world we need to do is lose the ability to produce our food.”

Senator Boozman, you are the winner of today's BlueCarp "You Just Don't Get It Award (sponsored by Waffle House)."

Would the US military respond like the Egyptian military?

The Egyptian military's conduct in the recent demonstrations is encouraging. They could have easily replicated the Chinese military's conduct in Tianenmen Square. They did not.

Their conduct reminded me of a very important American military movement called "Oath Keepers."

The Oath Keepers have a list of orders they will not obey:
1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.

2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people.

3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.

4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.

5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."

9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.

10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.