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October 30, 2008
October 29, 2008
**Updated: 2008 Colorado Sample Ballot Guide--Amendments And Referenda
Scroll down for SP's 2008 Colorado sample ballot guide, courtesy of Julian Dunraven.
My colleagues at the Peoples Press Collective have created a quick guide and printer-friendly ballot guide (also available on you web enabled mobile device).
For additional information and more insight, Ben DeGrow has compiled the most comprehensive roundup of guides from Colorado bloggers and pundits from the center-right on the ballot initiatives.
By Julian Dunraven J.D., M.P.A.
This year, the Colorado ballot will be especially long. Already, I have received many calls asking me to briefly explain the various amendments and referenda issues from people who have neither the time nor the inclination to do the political research themselves. For those of you who are dreading the process of plowing through the lengthy ballot though, I hope this helps lessen that burden somewhat.
Also, for those of you who are wary of trusting a conservative curmudgeon on his word alone, you can find the philosophical principles I used to come to these decisions at the end of this post. If you read them you will know that you have become a true political nerd.
Finally, before we begin, I should explain that all the amendments, whether to the state constitution or to the Colorado Revised statutes, are brought by issue groups through the ballot initiative process. The referenda questions, on the other hand, are referred to the people by the state legislature. Without further ado, here are Colorado’s ballot questions for the 2008 election.
Amendment 46: YES
This amendment to the Colorado constitution would end all state based affirmative action programs, as California has done. Merit would then be the only standard for public employment, public education, and public contracting. Private institutions would be unaffected. This is as it should be. Discrimination or preference granting on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin should have no place in the modern world, where all people should be treated equally.
Amendment 47: YES
The Colorado Right to Work Amendment to the Colorado constitution would prohibit any employer or organization from requiring an employee to join a labor union. While unions serve many good purposes, no one should be required to join one against their will.
Amendment 48: NO
This amendment to the Colorado constitution would define the term “person” to include any human being from the moment of fertilization. The purpose of doing so is to find a back door method of outlawing abortion. Even if one is pro-life, though, this amendment is ill conceived as it would bring an aborted fetus under the purview of our murder laws and otherwise attempt to bring to a fetus into the same rights enjoyed by all other “persons.” By doing so, it would wreak havoc with our legal system, at great expense to the taxpayers, while doing absolutely nothing to change the constitutionality of abortion under the U.S. Constitution—as the Colorado Catholic Bishops have wisely pointed out. If people really want to end abortion through law, then they need to work on passing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, not the Colorado constitution.
Amendment 49: YES
This amendment to the Colorado constitution would end the practice whereby the government collects union dues from public employees directly out of their paychecks. There is no reason that our government should be using taxpayer money to collect dues for a private organization— much less one that carries out lobbying activities. That creates an ethical nightmare. Any private organization should be responsible for collecting its own dues.
Amendment 50: YES
This amendment to the Colorado constitution would allow local communities to extend casino hours of operation, as well as raise the limit on any single bet to $100. This amendment does three things I like: it increases freedom for the local communities; it increases tax revenue for the state through longer hours of operation and higher betting limits; and it improves safety on the roads through longer hours of operation, so that the casinos are not all emptying out at the same time. For those of you who oppose gambling in general, I submit that you should still support this amendment for those last two reasons. Gambling will remain in the state whether this amendment passes or not. However, this amendment will generate more revenue for the state, and ensure that a practice you may consider dangerous or objectionable, is carried out in a safer manner.
Amendment 51: NO
This amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes would increase state sales taxes in order to assist long-term care for people with developmental disabilities. I oppose this for three reasons. First, I am generally against any tax increases unless absolutely necessary. Second, it places undue restrictions on the ability of the legislature to regulate the budget. Colorado's laws already unduly encumber the state legislature’s ability to set and regulate the budget. We should not make it any more cumbersome. Finally, if there is truly need for this, it should be discussed and voted upon in the legislature. The legislature is best equipped to analyze our tax system and revenues. It also provides a forum for all interested parties to be heard, and to tailor the proposal accordingly. The people simply do not have access to all the information the legislature has, nor can they hear from all interested parties in order to make the best and most educated decision. If, after considering all the facts, the legislature determines a tax increase may be necessary to protect and care for the developmentally disabled, then it can ask the people to support a tax increase through a referendum.
Amendment 52: NO
This amendment to the Colorado constitution governs the allocation of revenues from the Colorado state severance tax imposed on minerals and mineral fuels. Allocation of revenue from a severance tax is something that should properly be left the legislature for the same reasons I gave regarding Amendment 51. In any case it should certainly be done via statute, and not enshrined in the Colorado constitution. Our constitution is muddled enough without locking in yet another regulation on our revenues.
This amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes extends criminal liability of a business entity to its executive officials. I object to this for two reasons. First, the reason we do business through corporations is precisely because there is little to no personal liability involved. This encourages people not only to invest but become involved with business and promotes a good and healthy economy. As most people realize that no single individual can ever be responsible for everything a corporation does, to impose individual criminal liability on business executives discourages investment and involvement and dampens the economy. Next, because this amendment conditions liability on whether or not the executive in question knowingly failed to meet a duty imposed by law, the amendment actually encourages executives to be ignorant of the law and its obligations. That is not something our legal system should be fostering.
Amendment 54: NO
This amendment to the Colorado constitution is yet another vain attempt to remove money from politics. In this case, it is trying to prevent any company or person with contracts from the government from making political contributions to a party or candidate, provided that those contracts were awarded without competitive bidding. The prohibitions would remain in place through the duration of the contract, and for two years thereafter. Our campaign finance regulations are already quite thorough. Records of campaign contributions are available for anyone who is interested. If, after inspecting those records, anyone is displeased by a candidate’s behavior concerning its donors, then he or she is free to vote against that candidate. Both businesses and people have a constitutional right to petition their government. In the interest of preventing corruption we may regulate that right somewhat, and indeed, our campaign finance laws have done so. However, we should certainly not eliminate that right altogether –especially not for two entire years because of an irrational fear that all money is corrupting. We will never remove money from politics altogether. The best we can do is to ensure transparency—and we have done so. This amendment attempts to go well beyond that, and succeeds only in trampling the right of people and business to petition the government.
This amendment to the Colorado constitution would require that any employer establish just cause before dismissing or suspending any employee. This would effectively subject all business in Colorado to the same employment standards used by the Federal government. Thus, before a McDonalds could fire even a 16 year old worker who refused to show up to work on time—if at all, treated customers poorly, and consistently “miscounted” the money he or she took in, the company would have to document all of these behaviors over time so as to be able to prove them to a court in a civil suit. This process can often take months or even a year to complete. Managers and public policy experts already call for a reform of this inefficient system in the federal government. Our economy should not be so restrained, and would suffer greatly under such stifling and inefficient regulation—as would the liberty of private entrepreneurs. Perhaps even more alarming, the costs and burden this would place on our courts would be astronomical, and would quickly require large tax increases to pay for the huge number of new courtrooms and judicial staff that would be required to deal with the volume of new employment litigation cases.
Amendment 56: NO
This amendment to the Colorado constitution would require all employers with more than 20 employees to provide health insurance coverage to their employees. If it passes, Colorado will become the most hostile state in the union for business and entrepreneurship. It will kill all incentive to invest in the state, and all current business will flee to other states. In short, it is a virtual guarantee of economic ruin for the state of Colorado.
Amendment 57: NO
This amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes would require employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all of their employees. While sounding fairly pleasant, the law is so vaguely worded as to have little or no actual meaning. This amendment would serve little purpose save to encourage frivolous litigation.
Amendment 58: NO
This amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes would eliminate the severance tax credit for oil and gas extraction. It would also, then, dictate how the increased revenue should be spent. As I have stated earlier, these sorts of questions regarding taxation and how revenue should be spent should properly be decided by the legislature, where all arguments can be heard and compromises can be made appropriately. After deliberating upon the options, if the legislature wishes to submit a referenda item to the people to approve or disapprove of a tax increase, it is free to do so. Without that prior work, debate, and analysis, the people are ill equipped to decide whether repealing this tax credit is necessary. We are even more ill equipped to decide how the increased revenues from that tax should be spent. We simply do not have access to all the information or interested parties. Thus, until this question can be properly debated by the legislature, I oppose any change in the law.
Amendment 59: NO
Currently in Colorado, if the state collects surplus revenue in taxes, those excess taxes are refunded to the people under the Taxpayer’s Bill Of Rights if (TABOR). Under Amendment 59 to the Colorado constitution, though, those refunds would no longer occur. Instead, any surplus revenue generated by taxes would be put into a slush fund for K-12 public education. This amendment eviscerates TABOR, and creates an unlimited slush fund for one of the most inefficient and badly run systems in our government: the public school system. At a time when everyone is talking about how best to reform the public school system, it would be very unwise to give them a blank check. I certainly do not want to sacrifice TABOR to do so.
Referendum L: YES
In this referendum, the state legislature asks if the Colorado constitution should be amended to permit any person, twenty one years or older, to serve in the Colorado General Assembly. Currently, the minimum age is set at 25 years. Given that all other rights confer upon people at the age of 21, it make sense that the right to serve in the legislature should as well. True, most 21 year olds do not have the wisdom to serve in the legislature and inspire little confidence. However, there are a few exceptional 21 year olds who might be ideally suited to the position. I would hate to prevent such an exceptional individual from serving the people in public office simply because of an age requirement, and I have every confidence that our people would never vote for someone they considered unqualified for office. Thus, this amendment can do no harm, but could do a great deal of good.
Referendum M: YES
In this referendum, the state legislature asks if the Colorado constitution should be amended to remove obsolete provisions. The constitution should never be cluttered with regulations that can become obsolete. Removing such provisions is always a good thing, and trimming down law is usually a good thing.
Referendum N: YES
This referendum likewise asks to remove other obsolete provisions from the state constitution.
Referendum O: YES
In this referendum, the state legislature asks whether the state constitution should be amended so that it will be more difficult to amend in the future. Currently, it is just as easy to bring a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution as it is to amend the state statutes. Thus, almost all ballot initiatives attempt to amend the state constitution rather than the statutes so that the state legislature cannot change anything. This has led to an incredibly cluttered constitution, full of conflicting provisions which frequently impose such stringent financial obligations as to leave the state unable to adjust in times of hardship. This should not be. The constitution should be limited to the most fundamental expression of rights and government structures; it should not be a legislative depot for every issue group in the state. Thus, by making the constitution slightly harder to amend, we will encourage issue groups to bring ballot initiatives which amend the state statutes instead of the constitution. Thus, if they turn out to have unfortunate and unintended consequences, we can easily change them rather than suffer through a constitutionally created budget crisis such as spurred the need for Referenda C a few years ago. And yes, the state statutes will remain quite easy to amend through the ballot initiative process, so you fans of direct democracy have no need to fear.
For those of you who might wonder how I came to these decisions, I have a simple legislative philosophy. First, I do not believe the state constitution should be amended save to express guaranteed rights of our citizenry or to give fundamental structure to government entities. The constitution is no place for simple policy or tax plans, which may need to change drastically over time. Those should be limited to the Colorado Revised Statutes, which can be changed as needed by the legislature.
Second, I do not believe the people should be amending even the statutes lightly. The legislature exists to provide a forum for all interested parties to debate and express their opinions about policy. Through that forum, the senators and representatives can consider all available information and modify legislation based on that insight. The people do not have that advantage. In any ballot initiative, the only opinions we hear are from groups well funded enough to advertise extensively. Also, the people cannot modify or amend a ballot initiative as the legislature can with a bill. This means we must simply accept or reject what is offered to us on the basis of what is often limited or faulty information. As such, ballot initiatives should be used only to express clear, broad policy. Anything else, such as specific tax or revenue plans, should be left to the legislature. If our vote is needed, they can ask us for it through the referenda process. This is why we believe in a representative government rather than direct democracy in the first place. If you are concerned about such things, write your district senator or representative. At the state level, they ALWAYS have time to meet with you in person about it if you wish.
Finally, I think any legislation must pass a three part test before I will support it:
(1) The proposed law must address an issue of instability in society;
(2) The proposed law must be narrowly tailored so as to achieve its purpose while still promoting individual liberty to the greatest extent possible; and
(3) The proposed law must be enforceable so as to prevent arbitrary and capricious government actions which result in instability (back to step 1).
If any piece of legislation fails to meet a single part of this test, then it should not become law.
I believe that if you go back over the ballot initiatives with these standards in mind, you will come to the same conclusions I have. Thank you for your indulgence. I hope that this may be of some help to you in deciding how to vote over the next few weeks.
Military Guest Commentary: Why I Will Vote Republican
By CPT. Hunter Hawke
The upcoming election is extremely important to everyone, but perhaps especially to members of the military. Thus, as a member of the military, drawing on the sum of my experiences, please allow me to explain why I will be voting Republican.
First, I believe the Democrats’ approach to foreign policy is both naïve and dangerous. Second, I simply do not believe the Democrats can do what they’re promising. They cannot continue to provide for a strong military, pay for their proposed entitlement programs, and not increase taxes. Third, they have not proved that they are capable of managing the military and our foreign policy competently.
To address my first point, I believe that a pragmatic approach to defense and foreign policy is the only reasonable one. My experiences in the military and Iraq specifically have left me doubting the good nature of man. I believe that the nature of man is not inherently good and the world is far more Hobbesian than most people would like to believe. Tribalism, corruption, cronyism, brutality and most every other vice known to man are prevalent throughout large portions of the world. You can see the symptoms of these base instincts in many other countries in the way they treat minority groups, woman, wealth distribution, elections, human rights, the press, the judiciary and so on. The governments of these countries are not equal partners with us, nor do they share the moral high ground. So when I hear the Democratic party in general and Senator Barrack Obama in particular talk about how we need to redefine our foreign policy by reaching out to these governments and people without these things in mind, it makes me ill.
The Democrats cite our standing in the court of world public opinion as evidence of the Bush administration’s disastrous handling of foreign policy. I think what they fail to understand is that the world is full of countries that would love nothing more than to see the end of American hegemony, be it economically, politically, or militarily. Some of their motives are not nefarious but rather that of a competitor. But what of those states who wish something else, something more sinister? An expansive Russia, a nuclear Iran, a radical Pakistan? Even today Zimbabwe, Sudan, North Korea, Venezuela, and countless others would love nothing more than to see an end to American hegemony. And who would suffer? Maybe we won’t, at least in the near term. But minority populations would suffer. Political dissenters would suffer. And American values such as woman’s rights, freedom of the press, an independent judiciary, and countless other values we hold dear would suffer. So to say that we are unpopular and use this as reasoning to fundamentally change our foreign policy is ridiculous. The question should be: are we doing what is morally correct?
What the Republicans have done and I strongly support is to undertake a program of aggressive engagement in foreign policy. Our military assistance abroad is a perfect example. Isolationism is no longer an option because power and influence have become a zero sum game. If we are not exerting influence or spreading American values, someone else is spreading theirs and it is to our collective detriment. We exert our influence, not to pander to our enemies, but to influence other countries to become something else, something better.
For example, over the last several years, we’ve undertaken a massive effort to combat AIDS in Africa and we’ve established an independent African military command to bolster the security of that continent. What we’ve done in Columbia is another example. I know a couple of guys who’ve spent years in Columbia training their Special Forces and intelligence organizations. What is underpublicized is the fact that the FARC, the strongest, most well equipped and well financed terrorist revolutionary organization in the western hemisphere, is now on the verge of total collapse. We didn’t negotiate with them; we defeated them.
A more specific example would be the rescue of Ingrid Betancourt as one of the culminating efforts of years of military assistance in Columbia. All of the resolutions in the parliaments of Europe, declarations of solidarity, and high level negotiations yielded nothing. She was rescued because the United States had aggressively supported the Columbian government for years. Now the Bush administration is trying to use Columbia as a template for the rest of South America and Africa. So it comes as no surprise that the countries most fearful and vocal about American power, like Venezuela, are also the ones who stand to lose.
That these countries stand up in the United Nations and decry our efforts around the globe is not only unsurprising but a testament of the great things we’re doing. Will we choose to ignore the world’s problems until they come knocking on our door? And what about the rest of the world? What are we going to do to ensure the security and prosperity of our allies and the innocent? Will we abandon them to appease our critics?
The Democrats offer the idea of soft power and negotiation as a means to accomplish our goals. But I would argue that soft power in a globalized world is largely a fraud because economic interdependence has made it increasingly difficult to employ. The Europeans refuse to stand up to Russia over the conflict with Georgia because Russia supplies most of their oil and natural gas. The Chinese oppose any intervention in the Sudan on the part of the United Nations because Sudan is one of their key trading partners. Are we going to abandon our allies and allow innocent people to be butchered because soft power is insufficient?
Europe, the center of soft power, is great at exercising their rhetorical skills, but what have they done for the people in Afghanistan, Columbia, Georgia, Darfur, and countless other countries? They can’t even send their own soldiers and humanitarian aid around the world unless it’s on board a US Navy destroyer or in an American C-130. The Europeans obviously lack the intestinal fortitude to do anything more than talk about their high ideals. That these same Europeans fall all over themselves to hear Sen. Obama speak should cast some doubt on their overwhelming support for him. Additionally, few of our allies have the resources or the commitment to do what we can. So it is left to the United States.
The Democrats say that we’re being too aggressive, but what’s the alternative? Certainly they offer nothing beyond soft power, rhetoric, and action in the United Nations. There are quite a few nations who stand to lose if we continue on our current path but I don’t believe we have another choice. These issues are too important and the consequences too grave to leave to a party that lacks the courage to do the right thing.
This leads me to the inevitable conclusion that the Democrats seemingly have no foreign policy goals beyond increasing our popularity abroad and maintaining some form of rudimentary security for the United States. This allows them to focus all of their efforts on their socialist domestic agenda but that’s another topic. The Democrats try to make their point by using Iraq as an example to show the failure of the republican approach. But they have neither a better approach to foreign policy nor a better plan for achieving our strategic goals.
President Bush was right to depose Saddam, but he went about reaching that objective with disastrous incompetence. Sen. Obama was wrong about the validity of deposing Saddam, in that it was deserving of our efforts, and even more wrong about the surge. If we had pulled out when he wanted and as he vigorously advocated, it would have resulted not only with Iraq being thrown into chaos, but the entire region may have erupted into a more widespread conflict. It also would have been tantamount to the betrayal of all the American service members who fought and died there.
Obama is trying to bolster his credentials to be commander in chief by saying that we’ve been distracted from our primary objective in Afghanistan. I remain unconvinced that he fully intends to follow through with the action plan his rhetoric has endorsed. Afghanistan is a tougher conflict than Iraq and will require additional years to sort out. I very much doubt that he has the spine for a protracted counterinsurgency and, even if he does, I doubt that his party does. At the end of the day, the fundamental difference between the foreign policy approaches of the two parties is that Democrats want to negotiate with our enemies while Republicans want to defeat them.
To address my second point, I have heard nothing from Sen. Obama about the importance he places on supporting the military beyond the opportunities he has to attack Sen. McCain on the topic. Furthermore, I’ve seen the effects of the Clinton administration on the military and I hope to God that it doesn’t happen again. During the Clinton years, budgets dwindled and manpower was slashed. Equipment was refurbished but no new equipment was procured. He took the Army that defeated the fifth largest standing army at the time in 100 hours and gutted it. He used the rational that the peace dividend brought about by winning the cold war more than justified the drawdown. Never mind the increasingly factitious and dangerous world that the fall of the iron curtain left behind.
Clinton and the Democratic Party, past and present, have never paid more than lip service to keeping a strong military. Their base demands expensive entitlement programs and the money has to come from somewhere. They can only raise taxes so much before the consequences, both political and economic, become too great. So the money comes from the most expensive government program that just so happens to be the most politically inconsequential for the Democrats. And since a strong military is not necessary to meet the Democratic foreign policy agenda, the temptation to slash military budgets is simply too great and the military’s ability to meet the enemies of our country suffers as a result.
Finally, I’ll use the Clinton years again to demonstrate that I don’t believe the Democratic Party can properly manage the military or foreign policy. Even more disastrous than the lack of financial and moral support for the military was the effect left by having a weak commander in chief. Because of Clinton’s past and the politics of his party, he could not politically afford to suffer military casualties abroad. This infused in the military a zero tolerance policy on casualties which resulted in an irrational approach to combat. We fight to win, not to avoid casualties. In combat, the mission always comes first and there is no substitute for victory. It might sound cliché but it’s the truth.
It has taken us years to overcome the Clinton mentality, and the last thing I want to see is a democratic administration take us back to the place where they cannot politically afford casualties so we either don’t fight or we do so in a cowardly and inept manner. We retreated from the field of battle in Somalia. We allowed more than half a million people in Rwanda to be butchered. We launched an ineffective and short lived humanitarian mission to Haiti that accomplished nothing. We did nothing to confront the rising threat of Islamic fanaticism. We abdicated our role as the leader of the free world. I do not believe that what we did then was the right thing and I believe that a democratic administration would take us down that same path.
If I had to pick a candidate based on my opinions on the military and foreign policy, without doubt, I would pick John McCain. I voted for him in the 2000 primaries and I think that, as a party, we made a mistake in picking Bush over him. After McCain, I would pick every single other Republican candidate. And after that, I would pick Joe Lieberman. And if I could pick none of the above, I would look into moving to Montana to ride out the coming storm.
October 28, 2008
Schaffer/Udall--The Home Stretch
Schaffer v Udall continues to post the latest coverage and analysis in this tough Senate race.
Udall's spending proposals, "green" redecoration plans for July 4th, and liberal lock-step voting record (voting with the least popular Congress, ever) should be enough to inspire Halloween-like horror if you enjoy freedom and fiscal responsibility.
At this point in the election, getting out the vote is really the only important and responsible thing to do for the candidates, and if you didn't receive an email from the campaign, here is how you can help Schaffer, and information on the final Senate campaign debate:
Our momentum going into the last week of the campaign continues to be strong. But we need your help to beat Boulder Liberal Mark Udall! Coloradans across the state need to hear Bob's message of lower taxes, energy independence and strong families. Here are a few ways you can help.
Wednesday night is Schaffer for Senate Night at the Colorado Victory offices across Colorado. Please consider giving a few hours of your time to help ensure victory for Bob on Election Day. For information on your local Victory office and to schedule your volunteer opportunity, please call Catherine Schlueter at 720-377-1600.
This Thursday, October 30th will be the final television studio debate between Bob Schaffer and Boulder Liberal Mark Udall at the CBS4 studio in Denver. We are holding a rally to show our support for Bob before the debate begins.
Bring your friends and your family to support Bob in his final debate! The rally begins at 4:30 p.m. at the CBS4 Studios on 1044 Lincoln Street in Denver. A strong presence of Schaffer supporters will show Boulder Liberal Udall that we can win on November 4th.
For those who want to tune in for the last Senate debate, it will be airing live on Thursday, October 30th on Ch. 4, KCNC, CBS from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. and will be replayed later the same evening on Ch. 12, KBDI, PBS from 9:00 – 10:00 p.m.
After the debate rally there will also be Republican Get-Out-The-Vote victory rallies in Denver and across the state. Come show your support for Bob by attending the Denver rally!
Denver Marriott South
10345 Park Meadows Dr.
For more information on the Denver rally or to find out about other rallies across Colorado on Thursday, please call 720-377-1600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you at one of the rallies as we make our final push before Election Day!
Remember early voting has already begun or you can vote at your polling place on Tuesday, November 4th. Thank you for your support of Bob Schaffer for a better Colorado!
Bob Schaffer for U.S. Senate
Polite Persuasion: What Each Of Us Should Be Doing For John McCain
By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.
A guest at tea informed me that she enjoys our visits because they are among the few chances she gets to discuss politics openly. It seems that she refrains from any mention of politics at work, and even at dinner parties if she is not close to the guests. This disturbs me. How can we expect to win if we refuse to discuss politics for fear of being rude? Can we really expect our liberal friends to understand decent policy on their own? Not when they nominate Barack Obama for president.
Now, do not misunderstand me. As a staunch defender of etiquette, I do not want conservatives out preaching to everyone they meet. That would indeed be rude. Nor do I endorse political conversation if it is likely that you will end up shouting about how stupid the other person is. That could well get you fired. However, it is certainly possible to slip good political information into workplace conversation and unfamiliar social scenes without being boorish. If we intend to win, I think we had best start doing so quickly. Here is how.
As you come into the office and begin settling your things, remark, “Did you see that the Fed has increased its balance sheet by $5 trillion? Inflation is ballooning and we have almost doubled our national debt. Now I hear that Sen. Obama is proposing another $4.3 trillion in spending. Goodness only knows how we are ever going to afford all of this.” Next, you sigh, shake your head, and simply walk off to your office. Inevitably someone will pop his head in to ask where you heard such things. Smile and tell them you will send them a quick email. Just send the URL to the articles and let them chew on the information by themselves.
Later, try remarking that the world leaders are convening a meeting on November 15th to reform the world’s financial markets with a new bretton Woods Agreement and possibly begin discussing an entirely new currency to replace the dollar. Europe is calling this the death of American Capitalism and the triumph of European style socialism. They are overtly rejecting U.S. leadership and demanding oversight of even our markets. We had best hope whoever wins is able to stand up to this.
Russia, Iran and Qatar are forming a new gas cartel to gain control of energy imports into Europe. This would give these nations enormous control over European affairs, especially since it would be backed by Russia’s formidable military might. At the same time, we have Joe Biden saying that Obama will be immediately tested by our enemies. We had best hope he is up to that immense challenge.
No one needs to wait about to argue. Just walk away and let others come to you. When they do, don’t argue. Just provide information, politely, and with a smile. If the other person becomes testy, shrug and say, “I hope you are right,” then walk away. The point is not to turn our workplaces and social engagements into political debates. The point is just to get people thinking about issues beyond the mindless faith in Obama’s “hope.”
As every conservative knows, hope is not a defense of our interests, and faith alone will not restore our economy. Though we know that Barak Obama is an overt socialist who would weaken us internationally and militarily while redistributing our wealth domestically, we need to do better helping others understand this. Every citizen has a responsibility to this country. If we are not doing everything we can to ensure it is in the best position to face what we know is coming, then we have failed in our responsibility. If we do not speak out in support of the principles we believe in because we cannot figure out how to do so politely and professionally, then we have failed in our duty. If Barack Obama is elected because we conservatives expect someone else to campaign against the socialist nonsense he represents, then we have abdicated our individual responsibility as citizens. As I said, we do not need to preach. We do not even need to argue. We do need to speak up and speak out—every one of us. Time is running out.
October 27, 2008
Colorado Ballot Guide 2008
Questions about the 2008 ballot? SP's ballot guide will take you through the state-level amendments and referenda, and Peoples Press Collective has assembled one as well. For thorough backgrounding and roundup of more links and other guides, Ben DeGrow has the most comprehensive roundup.
Early voting continues through the end of next week, and mail-in ballots can still be requested through October 28.
Youth Movement--Not All Young People Are Obamatons
Young Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians (what, no monolithic vast right-wing conspiracy?) aren't prepared to concede the youth vote to Democrats, Obama, or socialism:
Wesley Dickinson, a 30-year-old Denver engineer, thinks the economy is forcing people near his age to confront politics more so than at any time since the 1970s economic downturn created a generation of Reagan Republicans. Since then, people have been able to live relatively comfortably and didn't care so much about what the government did; that no longer is true, he said.Activists from the center-right who can put to rest the image of the "good ol' boys" club of plder, blind GOP voters, with variations in ideology, diversity of backgrounds (the only true diversity), and a desire to foster advocacy of political positions with a decidedly non-progressive/liberal/socialist bent.
"They haven't had to worry about the economy like our parents did," said Dickinson, a limited-government supporter who has had a keen interest in such things for many years. "The economy's been booming in general steady growth. And now we're getting into the first election times where people are scared."
. . .
Few young people read a printed paper, and many gathered at both Republican and Democratic young-voter gatherings in recent weeks said they don't own a television. They get their information from Web sites and even plan their social calendars through online networking sites such as Facebook.
And it is precisely because younger people can do almost anything in front of a computer monitor - organize a campaign event, donate money, air their opinions on a blog - that they are newly active, Justin Longo said. In the days of door-knocking and phone-calling drives 20 years ago, it was hard to hold down a full-time job and be an activist. Now, people of any income level and any work schedule can do so at any time.
"I'd like to think that without the Internet we would be so active. But I doubt it, because the costs of activism are so low this way," said Longo, 26, who is a "Web monkey" with the conservative Independence Institute in Golden. "With only a few key strokes, you put yourself in the role of an activist."
Internet users can find meetings or activities very specific to their peer and interest groups. This is how the postcard parties are organized. It's how 26-year-old Amanda Teresi founded Liberty on the Rocks, a group of free- market backers that gathers at bars twice a month in the Denver area to discuss politics or watch the presidential debate, as members did last week.
These aren't your typical post-grad, ex-College Republicans.
You can check out the musings and reports from Wes, Justin, and Amanda at Peoples Press Collective.
Deflation Is Not The Problem: We Face Inflation And Currency Collapse
The value of the dollar is up, gold is down, and so is oil; stock values have plummeted, and everywhere I hear fretting about deflation. Do not be deceived. It is not deflation, but inflation which has come to plague us. If people fail to understand this point and rely on the dollar, their wealth will be wiped out.
The credit crisis has forced a massive deleveraging process faster than anyone anticipated. As a result, entities are selling anything they can for dollars to pay down debts. This sell off includes gold holdings, which is helping to push the already manipulated prices down further. The deleveraging sales (along with naked short selling) have also crashed stock prices. This has caused speculators to fear deflation rather than inflation and seek dollars rather than assets, and so they have sold off oil, causing a drop in the price. Coupled with the recessionary fears, this has cut demand slightly and OPEC is cutting production. Keep watching. All of this is temporary.
Demand for oil is still growing, even if that growth has slowed somewhat. Even with demand expected down at 86 million barrels per day, that is still more than last year and less than we are expecting for next year. China alone still has an 8% growth rate. We still suffer a supply destruction of 5-8% per year and have no prospects of any major new fields. The value of oil will climb, and it will climb high.
As for our stocks, many are not overleveraged and are quite strong. They should recover nicely from the dumping this liquidation is forcing right now. They will also benefit as Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) has ordered the Justice Department to begin an investigation of the SEC. As a result, the SEC is starting to take action against naked short sellers who have been stealing trillions by selling non-existent stock on the markets. One investment advisor has reported to me that up to 50% of the stock of several major companies currently being traded simply does not exist. Congress is finally beginning to notice this and take aim at these criminal traders who have defrauded both the companies they trade and the investing public in what may be the biggest financial crime we have ever seen. Thus, certain sectors of our economy are still very strong, and with prices so low, it is a good opportunity to buy.
Be very clear about this point: inflation or deflation is determined by increasing or decreasing the money supply; they are not determined by rising or falling prices alone. We are not in deflation simply because of a few momentarily low prices. The Fed is the real worry. It has just added over $5 trillion to its balance sheet. Yes: $5 trillion. We have borrowing and inflation when we should have savings and capital. Our money supply is inflating as if there is no tomorrow. Such a thing has never before been seen in this country. We did see it in the Weimar Republic of Germany, in Argentina, and in the French Revolution, though. In each case, the government inflated the currency to the point of collapse. When the people began to starve, the French Queen was foolish enough to say “Let them eat cake.” She lost her head for it.
When the Fed manages to inject this cash into the market, we will begin to enter hyperinflation. Inflation will far surpass the interest rates for cash and bonds and any savings connected to the dollar will be wiped out. This is why we have seen savvy investors like Warren Buffett move all of their money into the equity of stocks, or into the safety of real money: gold and silver.
This is still a wonderful time for the purchase of gold and silver. The spot prices on COMEX have yet to realize the shortages we are facing. Yet, every dealer I talk to is desperately adding staff to try and keep up with the unprecedented demand. People are now waiting more than twenty minutes just to place an order and then being told they will have to wait anywhere from 3-5 months for delivery. Faced with such shortages, I have seen the price of a 1 oz. gold coin on eBay rise to over $1,500 while the spot price on COMEX lingers at $700 per ounce.
This will not continue. COMEX prices would lead you to believe there is a glut in supply. Yet it is becoming difficult to get gold and silver. It will shortly be even more difficult to get silver as it is a byproduct of lead and zinc mining and those metals are selling below cost, so mines are shutting down. People are beginning to realize that COMEX does not have physical metal to back up its paper contracts and they are demanding delivery. Many investment strategists expect COMEX to default by December. Once that happens, the dollar really does collapse as the price of gold may climb up to $5,000/oz., and silver may shoot to over $100/oz.. At that point, people will either have gold, silver, and stocks, or they will have worthless paper. We are facing inflation, and that is the simple fate awaiting our fiat currency system.
October 26, 2008
Barack Obama's Civic Center Adventure; Thoughts On The Obamessiah And Race
Drunkablog waded in to the teeming masses clamoring for the Obamessiah, and has an extensive photo roundup (and snark, of course). El Marco was there as well.
And in case you think that "Obamessiah" is nothing more than derisive rhetorical flourish, just take a look at what one Denver Post columnist believes:
You mark my words, political historians will refer to the period we are living in now as "before Obama" and the period going forward as "after Obama."Praise Obama!
Not voting for Obama? Yep, you're racist:
. . . Americans are not always what they appear to be. They may say one thing and think another, hold deep-seated prejudices they themselves don't quite understand — or they could surprise themselves and rise above race entirely.Undecideds don't fare much better:
Those who study the brain say part of the problem may lie there, deep in the cerebral cortex, in a place called the amygdala.And I thought the unease was just a product of Obama's socialist policies.
"What's happening right now is that a lot of people have been sitting on the fence and feeling some kind of gut-level unease with Obama," said Drew Westen, a psychologist and author of "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation."
Brain scans show activity in the amygdala correlates with such emotions as anxiety and fear.
"Studies have shown that a majority of white people, including those who are consciously opposed to discrimination, show activation of the amygdala when presented with a subliminal image of a black man," Westen said.
The gut-level unease, he said, could manifest itself with statements about Obama like "I'm not sure I can trust him" or "Maybe he doesn't love our country."
Over in Denver's northeast neighborhood, Cynthia Gallegos spent a lot of time registering voters and noticed the reactions.
"I never had a person of color say they would not vote for an individual because of his color," she said. "There was more caution from whites, saying that this political process doesn't work. Middle-aged and older white men who'd come to the door were just closed off to politics and political conversation."
Nevermind. "Socialist" is just GOP code-speak for "black."
**Update--Barack Obama Returns To Denver, 100000 Pack Civic Center Park
**Update 2--100,000 packed Civic Center, according to police
**Update--9NEWS has the best live webcast
Total numbers won't be known (or overinflated by the MSM) until tomorrow, but with pleasant weather and no competition from the Denver Broncos, there should be 30-50K people in Civic Center Park, no doubt buoyed by the recent poll showing Obama with a double-digit lead over John McCain. Looks like that $5 million Greek temple and Obamessiah rally at Invesco Field to cap off the DNC in Denver really paid off!
Meanwhile Hillary Clinton drew a small crowd for her pro-Obama rally on Friday--Peoples Press Collective was on the scene, and has coverage.
Early vote totals (by party) appear to indicate that record or near-record turnout could be expected across Colorado, with 17.7% (570,000) of registered voters already completing their ballots.
And finally, shocking news from Boulder.
October 25, 2008
Berg v. Obama Dismissed: Appeal Pending
By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.
(Update 13 January 2009: The Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Click Here for the story)
(For initial story, click here)
Judge Surrick has issued a ruling in Berg v. Obama. The Judge has dismissed the case for lack of standing. Berg is immediately appealing.
According to the Court, the claims,
“…regardless of questions of causation, the grievance remains too generalized to establish the existence of an injury in fact. To reiterate: a candidate’s ineligibility under the Natural Born Citizen Clause does not result in an injury in fact to voters. By extension, the theoretical constitutional harm experienced by voters does not change as the candidacy of an allegedly ineligible candidate progresses from the primaries to the general election.”
According to the Judge, even if Obama does not meet the requirements of the Natural Born Citizen Clause, an individual citizen has no right under the Constitution to bring a case requesting enforcement. Rather, according to Surrick, that power is held by Congress alone.
“If, through the political process, Congress determines that citizens, voters, or party members should police the Constitution’s eligibility requirements for the Presidency, then it is free to pass laws conferring standing on individuals like Plaintiff. Until that time, voters do not have standing to bring the sort of challenge that Plaintiff attempts to bring in the Amended Complaint.”
If this decision holds, then there is no way to enforce the Constitutional requirements for the Office of the President and that portion of our Constitution would be rendered fairly meaningless.
October 24, 2008
2008 Colorado Sample Ballot Guide--Amendments And Referenda (Updated)
Click here for SP's 2008 Colorado sample ballot guide, courtesy of Julian Dunraven.
My colleagues at the Peoples Press Collective have created a quick guide and printer-friendly ballot guide (also available on you web enabled mobile device).
For additional information and more insight, Ben DeGrow has compiled the most comprehensive roundup of guides from Colorado bloggers and pundits from the center-right on the ballot initiatives.
Could Obama Be Disqualified From The Election? The Federal Courts Will Decide
By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.
(For updated information on the Motion to Dismiss, click here)
For those of you unaware, Pennsylvania attorney Philip J. Berg has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging that Barack Obama is not eligible for the Office of the President because Obama lost his U.S. citizenship when his mother married an Indonesian citizen and naturalized in Indonesia. Berg further alleges that Obama followed her naturalization and failed to take an oath of allegiance when he turned 18 years old to regain his U.S. citizenship status. The case is Berg v. Obama.
It sounds crazy, I know. It becomes even stranger when you realize that Berg is a lifelong Democrat, the former Democratic Chairman of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, an 8-year member of the state democratic committee, and former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania. This is not a simple crank, and after reviewing the court documents, I believe the case is fairly strong, and has amazing implications.
It revolves around Article II Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution which provides in pertinent part that:
“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.”
To better understand the case, I recommend reading the complaint, Obama’s Motion to Dismiss, Berg’s Response in Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss, and Berg’s Motion for Summary Judgment. You can also read news about the case or donate to the cause by visiting Berg’s webpage.
Of course, the case is still developing and it is doubtful there will be any resolution before the election. If Obama loses the election, the case may be deemed moot and dismissed. If he wins, however, and Berg turns out to be correct, it would mean that we not only elected a man unqualified to hold office under the Constitution – we would have elected an illegal immigrant, who would then be disqualified from serving.
You might be wondering how our officials could have missed something so major. It is easy to do though if you think about it. Obama’s mother certainly used to be an American citizen. When he returned to the U.S. from Indonesia, how many government officials would even think to ask, “While away, did you or your parents happen to renounce your U.S. Citizenship?” It simply would not happen. Our officials would have proceeded as if Obama was a child of a U.S. Citizen. No one would know the truth unless he or his mother willingly revealed the information, or unless they were specifically examining Obama’s background in great detail.
I cannot even imagine the pressure this judge must be feeling, along with the Justices of the Supreme Court who will ultimately hear the appeal. Can you begin to hear the enraged screams of the rioters? Our courthouses will have to turn themselves into fortresses.
El Presidente and I will certainly be keeping a close watch on this fascinating case and provide updates as it develops. For now, however, I will leave you with the most interesting part of Berg’s argument thus far, taken from his Response in Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss and appended below.
* * * * * * * * * *
Even if Obama was, in fact, born in Hawaii, he lost his U.S. citizenship when his mother re-married and moved to Indonesia with her Indonesian husband. In or about 1966, when Obama was approximately five (5) years old, his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, married Lolo Soetoro, a citizen of Indonesia, whom she had met at the Hawaii University, and moved to Indonesia with Obama. Obama lost his U.S. citizenship, when his mother married Lolo Soetoro, and took up residency in Indonesia. Loss of citizenship, in these circumstances, under U.S. law (as in effect in 1967) required that foreign citizenship be achieved through “application.” Such type of naturalization occurred, for example, when a person acquired a foreign nationality by marriage to a national of that country. Nationality Act of 1940, Section 317(b). A minor child follows the naturalization and citizenship status of their custodial parent. A further issue is presented that Obama’s Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, either signed an acknowledgement acknowledging Obama as his son or Lolo Soetoro adopted Obama, giving Obama natural Indonesia citizenship which explains the name Barry Soetoro and his citizenship listed as Indonesian.
Obama admits in his book, “Dreams from my father” Obama’s memoir (autobiography), that after his mother and Lolo Soetoro were married, Lolo Soetoro left Hawaii rather suddenly and
Obama and his mother spent months in preparation for their move to Indonesia. Obama admits when he arrived in Indonesia he had already been enrolled in an Indonesia school and his relatives were waiting to meet him and his mother. Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian State citizen, could not have enrolled Obama in school unless Lolo Soetoro signed an acknowledgement acknowledging Obama as his son, which had to be filed with the Government. Under Indonesian law, when a male acknowledges a child as his son, it deems the son, in this case Obama, as an Indonesian State citizen. Constitution of Republic of Indonesia, Law No. 62 of 1958 Law No. 12 of 2006 dated 1 Aug. 2006 concerning Citizenship of Republic of Indonesia, Law No. 9 of 1992 dated 31 Mar. 1992 concerning Immigration Affairs and Indonesian Civil Code (Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Perdata) (KUHPer) (Burgerlijk Wetboek voor Indonesie) states in pertinent part, State citizens of Indonesia include: (viii) children who are born outside of legal marriage from foreign State citizen mother who are acknowledged by father who is Indonesian State citizen as his children and that acknowledgment is made prior to children reaching 18 years of age or prior to marriage; Republic of Indonesia Constitution 1945, As amended by the First Amendment of 1999, the Second Amendment of 2000, the Third Amendment of 2001 and the Fourth Amendment of 2002, Chapter X, Citizens and Residents, Article 26 states, “(1) Citizens shall consist of indigenous Indonesian peoples and persons of foreign origin who have been legalized [sic] as citizens in accordance with law. (2) Residents shall consist of Indonesiancitizens and foreign nationals living in Indonesia.”
Furthermore, under the Indonesian adoption law, once adopted by an Indonesian citizen, the adoption severs the child’s relationship to the birth parents, and the adopted child is given the same status as a natural child, Indonesian Constitution, Article 2.
The laws in Indonesia at the time of Obama’s arrival did not allow dual citizenship. If an Indonesian citizen married a foreigner, as in this case, Obama’s mother was required to renounce her U.S. citizenship and was sponsored by her Indonesian spouse. The public schools did not allow foreign students, only citizens were allowed to attend as Indonesia was under strict rule and decreed a number of restrictions; therefore, in order for Obama to have attended school in Jakarta, which he did, he had to be a citizen of Indonesia, as the citizenship status of enrolled students was verified with Government records.
Obama was enrolled by his parents in a public school, Fransiskus Assisi School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Plaintiff has received copies of the school registration, attached as EXHIBIT “4”, in which it clearly states Obama’s name as “Barry Soetoro,” and lists his citizenship as Indonesian. Obama’s father is listed as Lolo Soetoro, Obama’s date of birth and place of birth are listed as August 4, 1961 in Hawaii, and Obama’s Religion is listed as Islam. This document was verified by television show Inside Edition, whose reporter, Matt Meagher, took the actual footage of the school record. At the time Obama was registered the public schools obtained and verified the citizenship status and name of the student through the Indonesian Government. All Indonesian students were required to carry government identity cards, or Karty Tanda Pendudaks, as well as family card identification called a Kartu Keluarga. The Kartu Keluarga is a family card which bears the legal names of all family members.
Since Obama’s birth was legally acknowledged by Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen, and/or Obama was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, which the evidence attached hereto supports, Obama became an Indonesian citizen and bears the status as an Indonesia natural child (natural-born). For this reason, Obama would have been required to file applications with the U. S. State Department and follow the legal procedures to become a naturalized citizen in the United States, when he returned from Indonesia. If Obama and/or his family failed to follow these procedures, then Obama is an illegal alien.
Regardless of whether Obama was officially adopted, (which required a Court process), by his Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, or his birth was acknowledged (which only required the signing of a birth acknowledgement form), by Lolo Soetoro, one of which had to occur in order for Obama to have the name Barry Soetoro and his citizenship status listed as “Indonesian”, in either and/or both cases Obama’s name was required to be changed to the Indonesian father’s name, and Obama became a natural citizen of Indonesia. This is proven by the school records in Jakarta, Indonesia showing Obama’s name as Barry Soetoro and his citizenship as Indonesian. Again, the registration of a child in the public schools in Jakarta, Indonesia was verified with the Government Records on file with the Governmental Agencies.
The Indonesian citizenship law was designed to prevent apatride (stateless) or bipatride (dual citizenship). Indonesian regulations recognize neither apatride nor bipatride citizenship. In addition, since Indonesia did not allow dual citizenship neither did the United States, Hague Convention of 1930.
In or about 1971, Obama’s mother sent Obama back to Hawaii. Obama was ten(10) years of age upon his return to Hawaii.
As a result of Obama’s Indonesia “natural” citizenship status, there is absolutely no way Obama could have ever regained U.S. “natural born” status, if he in fact ever held such. Obama could have only become naturalized if the proper paperwork was filed with the U.S. State Department, in which case, Obama would have received a Certification of Citizenship.
Plaintiff is informed, believes and thereon alleges Obama was never Naturalized in the United States after his return. Obama was ten (10) years old when he returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. Obama’s mother did not return with him, and therefore, unable to apply for citizenship of Obama in the United States. If citizenship of Obama had ever been applied for, Obama would have a Certification of Citizenship.
Furthermore, Obama traveled to Indonesia, Pakistan and Southern India in 1981. The relations between Pakistan and India were extremely tense and Pakistan was in turmoil and under martial law. The country was filled with Afghan refugees; and Pakistan's Islamist-leaning Interservices Intelligence Agency (ISI) had begun to provide arms to the Afghan mujahideen and to assist the process of recruiting radicalized Muslim men--jihadists--from around the world to fight against the Soviet Union. Pakistan was so dangerous that it was on the State Department's travel ban list for US Citizens. Non-Muslim visitors were not welcome unless sponsored by their embassy for official business. A Muslim citizen of Indonesia traveling on an Indonesian passport would have success entering Indonesia, Pakistan and India. Therefore, it is believed Obama traveled on his Indonesian passport entering the Countries. Indonesian passports require renewal every five (5) years. At the time of Obama’s travels to Indonesia, Pakistan and India, Obama was twenty (20) years old. If Obama would have been a U.S. citizen, which he was not, 8 USC §1481(a)(2) provides loss of nationality by native born citizens upon "taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state...after having attained the age of eighteen years”, in violation of 8 U.S.C. §1401(a)(1) Since Lolo Soetoro legally acknowledged Obama as his son and/or adopted Obama, Obama was a “natural” citizen of Indonesia, as proven by Obama’s school record attached as Exhibit “4”.
October 23, 2008
Barack Obama At Civic Center Park And Colorado State University
Parking should be a nightmare as thousands will likely try to cram in early to see
Sen. Barack Obama will speak in Civic Center park around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, then head to Fort Collins for a rally at Colorado State University.B-list Hollywood types will be out stumping for Obama in Civic Center Park and at CU-Boulder on Saturday.
Tickets are not required for either event, though people are encouraged to RSVP at www.co.barackobama.com. Admission will be first-come, first-served.
Gates will open for the Denver event at 10 a.m.
The public entrance will be near the Greek Theater on 14th Avenue between Bannock Street and Broadway.
Access from Colfax will be prohibited.
The afternoon rally at The Oval on the CSU campus is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., with public access at University Avenue and West Drive starting at 1:30 p.m.
Colorado Amendment 49 Update
Still up in the air about Amendment 49?
Here's the 2 minute drill, courtesy of Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute, with a little help from his "friends":
The sockpuppets are available on eBay.
The Peoples Press Collective has more information on Amendment 49.
John Elway For John McCain: A Prelude To 2010?
Is John Elway's appearance at tomorrow's rally for John McCain a much-needed infusion of come-from-behind support from the NFL's premier 4th Quarter comeback king (and that will be the rhetoric, guaranteed), or a preview to a possible run for office in 2010 (Sen. Ken Salazar and Gov. Bill Ritter are both up for election)?
McCain's campaign could no doubt use the visible shot of support from the local sports legend (though how many votes could be influenced would be difficult to ascertain, if any), but the real boost in a tight race for a fellow Republican could be seen as a signal that should Elway choose to run, he'll have started building the network of links for a campaign. A President McCain stumping for Elway, or even a defeated but still popular-as-Senator McCain would make a valuable ally from a neighboring state.
Or it could simply be a chance for Elway to paraphrase some lines from his own success--"Win this one for John McCain!"
All That Glitters Is Not Gold: Our Government’s Lies and Manipulations in the Gold Market
By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.
We have all heard the old adage that when the market is down, gold is up. Well, the market is most assuredly down . . . but so are gold prices. Yet, strangely, demand for gold and other precious metals is skyrocketing, while supply is so low that people are being told they may have to wait six months or more for delivery. Even stranger, on eBay, prices for gold and silver coins and bars are well above the price they are being traded at on the commodities exchange in New York. So what is going on? That is the question some of my clients wanted answered as they fretted about their hedge investments. To answer quite simply, our government is actively working to suppress the gold market, and defrauding investors in the process. Now I will tell you why and how.
In the 1930s, we abolished the gold standard. Instead, we now have a fiat currency where money has value only because we say so. This allows the Federal Reserve to adjust the money supply without regard to a set amount of gold. Unfortunately, the Fed abused its power. Thus, every time we faced an economic hurdle, rather than allowing for market corrections, the Fed simply cut interest rates, printed more money, and inflated the problem away. It worked as long as people had faith in the currency.
As this behavior repeated itself over time, the central bank managed to encourage the unrestrained spending and overleveraging that has caused the economic crisis we face today. This time, though, the problem is not going away.
We are facing the accumulation of years of bad policy. People are beginning to see that the nation is so deeply in debt that the only way out is massive inflation and devaluation of the dollar. In an effort to preserve their wealth and hedge against this inflation, they turn to gold. This causes problems for the Fed and the other central banks.
Although our money is no longer backed by gold, the Fed cannot ignore gold entirely. If the value of the dollar drops too fast against gold, people begin to lose faith in the system. They buy gold instead of treasury bonds and the Fed and other central banks would be forced to stop their meddling in the markets and allow the money supply to readjust to the level it should be at. Thus, the Fed and other central banks have coordinated their efforts to prevent this.
First, as gold begins to rise, they release some of their own gold reserves into the market. The flood of new supply pushes down prices and allows them to continue with their operations. Of course, there is a danger. If they do this too often or too openly, people begin to see the manipulation and lose faith in the system. In recent years, as the increasing activity of the central banks has required more extensive manipulation of gold, the central banks have kept their hands clean by turning to private bullion banks. They have actually started paying these banks to lease gold and then sell it short on the market to keep the price down. Naturally, as an attempt to manipulate the currency, this is illegal for private entities — yet it is happening every day at the expense of investors.
Obviously, even the central banks do not have unlimited supplies of gold and cannot keep this up forever. The U.S. government, though, keeps its gold reserves a closely guarded secret and Fort Knox has not been audited since Eisenhower’s time. Yet, given the long waits for delivery and the high price of physical gold on eBay, we know that physical supply is short. So how do they continue to keep the price of gold futures contracts down on COMEX? They use naked short selling.
Few people ever demand delivery while trading on COMEX. Thus, it is remarkably easy to sell off more paper contracts than there is gold to back it. As long as few people demand delivery, the deception works. This, too, is criminal, but the law has not been enforced. We may see that begin to shift soon though. The manipulations have become so extensive that the difference in price between paper trading on COMEX and physical trading on eBay is becoming severe. People are beginning to notice. As early as December, we may see people demanding delivery on their COMEX contracts. When delivery cannot be met, this house of cards the Fed and other central banks have created will crash down.
So the government has fed us gilded lies while poisoning our market and actively undermining our hedge protections against inflation they created. Angry? You should be. But it will continue until we demand that it stop. Do so. First educate yourself. There is no better place to start than with the people at GATA. Then vote with both your money and your ballot. When you buy gold or silver, demand delivery. When you cast your ballot, vote against candidates who have fostered these manipulations and promised more. Vote against candidates who have benefited from the corruption through huge donations from the perpetrators. Vote against Barack Obama.
Shock: Ward Churchill Opposes "Demonization" Of Terrorist William Ayers
Ex-CU Professor Ward Churchill has joined 3200+ mostly academic types and signed a petition that calls Ayers' Weather Underground past "history" and criticizes attacks as nothing more than chilling "critical dialogue" and "free thinking":
More than 3,200 supporters -- including former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill -- have signed a petition protesting what they call the "demonization of Professor William Ayers."Lunatic leftists unite!
Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to Ayers have been questioned during the presidential campaign by critics who call the professor a "domestic terrorist." Obama's Republican opponent, John McCain, conducted a robo-phone call campaign in Colorado and several other states, calling into question Obama's connection with Ayers.
The phone call campaign against Ayers began at the same time McCain told voters he wasn't concerned with "some washed up terrorist," during the last presidential debate.
The petition, circulated online, asserts that Ayers' violent actions as the co-founder of the Weather Underground were just "history." The petition calls Ayers a well-respected, nationally-known figure in the education world. It also said that critics who call Ayers an "unrepentant terrorist" and "lunatic leftist" are "part of a pattern of 'exposes' and assaults designed to intimidate free thinking and stifle critical dialogue."
Ayers' activities as a terrorist co-conspirator with the Weather Underground are more than "history." The academics and unrepentant leftists who signed this petition are exposing their own willful blind eye to one of their ideological heroes, and are themselves guilty of the type of intimidationist thinking that stifles critical dialogue--they are petitioning to have the "demonization" of Ayers dropped, while simultaneously painting those who have raised criticisms as the ones against free speech. Remember criticism of the left is a violation of free speech, since all such criticism is really "hate speech," and the critics nothing more than jackbooted, fascist, neocon, hatemongers. Or so we've been told by folks like Churchill, again and again and again.
They lead off by attacking the "dishonesty of this campaign and the slanderous McCarthyism"--and then detail their support in the full text of the petition:
We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack. Ayers is a nationally known scholar, member of the Faculty Senate at UIC, Vice President-elect of the American Educational Research Association, and sought after as a speaker and visiting scholar by other universities because of his exemplary scholarship, teaching, and service. Throughout the 20 years that he has been a valued faculty member at UIC, he has taught, advised, mentored, and supported hundreds of undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D. students. He has pushed them to take seriously their responsibilities as educators in a democracy – to promote critical inquiry, dialogue, and debate; to encourage questioning and independent thinking; to value the full humanity of every person and to work for access and equity. Helping educators develop the capacity and ethical commitment to these responsibilities is at the core of what we do, and as a teacher he has always embraced debate and multiple perspectives.
All citizens, but particularly teachers and scholars, are called upon to challenge orthodoxy, dogma, and mindless complacency, to be skeptical of authoritative claims, to interrogate and trouble the given and the taken-for-granted. Without critical dialogue and dissent we would likely be burning witches and enslaving our fellow human beings to this day. The growth of knowledge, insight, and understanding--- the possibility of change--- depends on that kind of effort, and the inevitable clash of ideas that follows should be celebrated and nourished rather than crushed. Teachers have a heavy responsibility, a moral obligation, to organize classrooms as sites of open discussion, free of coercion or intimidation. By all accounts Professor Ayers meets this standard. His classes are fully enrolled, and students welcome the exchange of views that he encourages.
The current characterizations of Professor Ayers---“unrepentant terrorist,” “lunatic leftist”---are unrecognizable to those who know or work with him. It’s true that Professor Ayers participated passionately in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, as did hundreds of thousands of Americans. His participation in political activity 40 years ago is history; what is most relevant now is his continued engagement in progressive causes, and his exemplary contribution---including publishing 16 books--- to the field of education. The current attacks appear as part of a pattern of “exposés” and assaults designed to intimidate free thinking and stifle critical dialogue. Like crusades against high school and elementary teachers, and faculty at UCLA, Columbia, DePaul, and the University of Colorado, the attacks on and the character assassination of Ayers threaten the university as a space of open inquiry and debate, and threaten schools as places of compassion, imagination, curiosity, and free thought. They serve as warnings that anyone who voices perspectives and advances questions that challenge orthodoxy and political power may become a target, and this, then, casts a chill over free speech and inquiry and the spirit of democracy.
We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers.
October 22, 2008
Colorado Still In Play: Obamessiah In Denver; **Update--Hillary On Friday
So much for the MSM narrative . . .
**Update 2--to drive home the closeness of the battle for Colorado, Hillary will also be in Aurora on Friday
**Update--Why does Obama need to come to Colorado? I thought his acceptance at the DNC and recent polls just about wrapped it up for him. The appearances of Palin and McCain is understandable given that they trail in a state that has been a "battleground" only recently (2004, 2006), and refutes the notion that they have given up on the state for Electoral Votes in Pennsylvania. Biden's campaign swing can be seen as an effective, if somewhat limited counter, to help keep the local media from blanketing the Republicans. But Obama? Maybe they're not so confident after all . . .
The nomination acceptance speech at Invesco Field will be tough to beat:
Sen. Barack Obama is expected to hold a rally Sunday in Civic Center Park, where two of the last three Democratic presidential candidates to win Colorado held rousing political gatherings.SP and the Peoples Press Collective will be on hand for coverage. Stay tuned.
The campaign today confirmed Obama will be in Colorado Sunday, but did not release a location or other details.
A spokeswoman for the city's parks and recreation department, however, said the campaign had secured a permit for Civic Center.
Expect a large turnout with the Denver Broncos on a bye week.
DU Rejects Calls To Bring Back Boone The Pioneer, Calls Mascot "Divisive"
"Divisive . . . does not reflect the broad diversity of the DU community"
The multicultural diversity thugs, having already given Boone the boot at DU back in 1999, rejected a call from alumni and students to bring back the mascot:
Boone the Pioneer, the longtime face of the University of Denver, will stay in retirement after the school's chancellor called the cartoon "divisive" and said it doesn't reflect diversity.The Walt Disney-drawn Boone doesn't offend current DU students, who seem puzzled by the bureaucratic diversity pandering of the DU administration:
The cartoon image of a grinning pioneer with his gun and coonskin cap was the official mascot of the university from 1968 until 1998, when he was replaced by Ruckus, a red-tailed hawk.
Alumni and students urged Chancellor Robert Coombe to return the retired mascot to official or semi-official status.
Coombe sent an email to the university community on Monday rejecting that idea.
The e-mail read, in part, that DU "cannot adopt an official mascot that has a divisive rather than unifying influence on our community."
Coombe wrote that the cartoon pioneer "does not reflect the broad diversity of the DU community and is not an image that many of today's women, persons of color, international students and faculty, and others can easily relate to as defining the pioneering spirit."
DU spokesman Jim Berscheidt said Boone "doesn't really represent the DU of today."
"We moved on 10 years ago and the decision was made not to bring back Boone in any capacity," Berscheidt explained.
"I don't see anything offensive about him. He's just a little cartoon character," said DU student Patrick Biggers. "He looks fun-loving."At least the DU administration isn't banning Boone from campus.
"I don't find him offensive," said DU student Katie Bird.
"I personally like him," said DU student Kristin Elliot. "He's pretty cute."
Students approached on campus Tuesday afternoon had trouble pinpointing who would be offended by the smiling cartoon character.
"He's got a full beard," noted DU student Kirsten Cangilla. "Maybe people who are afraid of facial hair?"
Part of the affinity for Boone would appear to stem from ambivalence over his replacement, Ruckus, the red-tailed hawk.
Those students who could identify their new mascot referred to it as an eagle, hawk, falcon, "prairie bird," "bird-thing" and "the red creature."
"Everyone knows Boone," said Elliot. "No one knows the bird thing."
If the representation of a pioneer for the DU Pioneers is an issue, then perhaps the actual name should be changed, not simply the logo. It is clear that students and alumni appreciate the mascot, and have no affinity for the new logo, whose ambiguous status (what kind of bird?) illustrates just the type of mind-numbing mediocrity that stems from lame attempts to make a campus more "diverse" by going after cute logos instead of focusing on recruitment and retention.
Women, students of color, and international students can't relate to the "pioneering spirit" embodied by Boone? Maybe it is they who are in need of a little diversity education . . .
On The Right To Vote
AN URGENT MESSAGE TO ALL COLORADO REPUBLICAN VOTERS
From the Colorado Coalition of Conservative Bloggers
As you know, Colorado has been labeled a “swing” state in this year’s elections, and will be one of the states that will determine the direction of our nation for the next four or eight years. Historically, the voters in Colorado elected Republican candidates, largely because of the higher numbers of registered Republican voters. This Republican majority no longer exists. Today, “independent” or “unaffiliated” are more numerous than Republicans, and that is one of the primary reasons why Republicans were so unsuccessful in the 2006 elections. This year could be worse, but it is entirely up to you. We are urging each and every Republican voter in Colorado to exercise his or her right to vote to send Republican candidates to Washington and Denver to restore responsible government at both the federal and state levels.
Remember, it is up to each and every one of us. Together we can do it. For the good of Colorado, and for the good of America, we must stop the leftward trend that has come to monopolize our governments. But we cannot do it if we sit back on November 4 and fail to let our voices be heard. EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!
SCHAFFER V. UDALL: 2008 COLORADO SENATE BATTLE
THE DRUM AND CANNON
October 21, 2008
John McCain Concedes Colorado By Campaigning in Denver, Durango On Friday
**SP's Colorado election results and analysis
The McCain-Palin ticket is clearly giving up on Colorado by announcing a two-stop McCain visit on Friday:
McCain will start his day Friday at the National Western Arena. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., with the program starting at 9 a.m. Free tickets are required and may be picked up at the campaign office at 6334 S. Racine Circle in Centennial.Does McCain face an uphill battle in Colorado? Yes. But the actions of the campaign have clearly indicated a move to retain Colorado and its 9 electoral votes--despite the many wishes of Democrats and the compliant MSM.
He'll speak at the Durango High School football field at 5 p.m., with doors opening at 3 p.m. To get a ticket, RSVP online at www.johnmccain.com.
The Durango stop will be the first one by a major party presidential candidate since John F. Kennedy campaigned there in 1960, according to the Durango Herald.
Battleground Colorado: Sarah Palin Interview; "First Dude" A Rockstar; Biden "Blitz"
The battle of the VPs continues in Colorado--first up, a look back at Sarah Palin's whirlwind tour of Colorado, where record turnouts (22000 in Grand Junction alone) were marred by security snafus, the MSM tried its hand at voter suppression, and protesters decided to block Palin's motorcade in Grand Junction.
And the knock on Palin for not engaging with the MSM?
Maybe it's more about the quality than the quantity.
Sarah Palin's full interview with Adam Schrager of 9NEWS (so much for the MSM memes of being held back, or being incoherent on policy).
Meanwhile the "First Dude" of Alaska, Todd Palin, stuck around Colorado Tuesday to continue stumping on behalf of the McCain/Palin ticket--and has a "rockstar" following of his own.
Gaffetastic Joe "The Senator" Biden is also in Colorado, as part of a two day stump that will take him from Greeley to Commerce City today, and Colorado Springs and Pueblo tomorrow--and it appears that Obama '08 is still running against Bush, and Biden is defending his own statements about Obama being tested:
“If it looks like a Bush, if it sounds like a Bush, if it votes like a Bush, it’s a Bush economic policy."The Rocky blogged his appearance at UNC in Greeley.
. . .
Touching on his controversial comment this week that Obama likely will face a world crisis in his first months on the job, Biden told the Greeley audience that “every great president sees crisis as an opportunity” to make America greater.. “I believe Barack Obama will be a great president.”
**Update--Meghann McCain will be in Colorado Thursday to promote her new book about her father:
"My Dad, John McCain"
WHEN: Thursday, Oct 23rd 4:00 pm
WHERE: Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch
9315 Dorchester Street
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
October 20, 2008
Colorado "Gone" For John McCain Despite Appearances By Sarah Palin?
**Update--McCain campaign responds:
Two senior aides didn't deny that Colorado appeared challenging, but pointed to the two key indicators of any campaign's intent, time and money, to make the case that they were still holding out hopethere.Winning Colorado will be tough, but obviously the campaign thinks that the time and money invested here with Sarah Palin on Monday and the "First Dude" of Alaska, Todd Palin, on Tuesday is more than just a meaningless show of strength in a state they expect to lose.
"We didn't send Gov. Palin there for no reason," said one, a reference to the vice presidential nominee's three rallies across the state today.
Another aide pointed out that the campaign and RNC's independent expenditure committee were both still on the airwaves there
"The combined reported spending of the RNC IE and the campaign is very similar, we trail by very small margins (around $500,000)."
Despite Sarah Palin's marathon Colorado stumping today--Colorado Springs, Loveland, and Grand Junction--unnamed sources believe the race for Colorado is over, and CNN reports from McCain insiders (h/t Jeremy Pelzer at PolitickerCO):
While Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado are still officially listed as McCain target states, two top strategists and advisers tell CNN that the situation in those states looks increasingly bleak. Iowa and New Mexico always have been viewed as difficult races, but the similar assessment of Colorado reflects a dramatic shift for a campaign that had long counted on the state.Pelzer reports that in addition to Davis, other McCain campaign staffers are similarly befuddled by this assessment:
"Gone," was the word one top McCain insider used to describe those three states.
This source said while the polls in Colorado remain close, he and most others in the operation were of the opinion that the Obama campaign and its allies have a far superior ground/turnout operation and "most of us have a hard time counting on Colorado."
Campaign manager Rick Davis is among the dissenters, believing the state remains within reach, several sources in and close to the McCain campaign say.
"It's not true," McCain spokesman Tom Kise responded to PolitickerCO.com. "I don't know what the hell they're talking about.""Insider" sources are always problematic, even for blogs. Is the campaign already cutting its losses? If so, then why waste a day of Palin blanketing the state, and announce plans for McCain appearing in Colorado later in the week? It makes little sense to believe Pennsylvania is part of the strategy (a state Bush failed to capture twice) but that Colorado is suddenly somehow off the table.
"We see the race tightening both internally and in public polling," said Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's national communications director, in a statement. "We are within striking distance in the key battleground states we need to win."