Read Of The Day: After The Republic

I ran into this on the Ace of Spades HQ blog. It’s a longer article but well worth it.

After the Republic By: Angelo M. Codevilla

Here are a few teaser quotes:

Over the past half century, the Reagan years notwithstanding, our ruling class’s changing preferences and habits have transformed public and private life in America. As John Marini shows in his essay, “Donald Trump and the American Crisis,” this has resulted in citizens morphing into either this class’s “stakeholders” or its subjects. And, as Publius Decius Mus argues, “America and the West” now are so firmly “on a trajectory toward something very bad” that it is no longer reasonable to hope that “all human outcomes are still possible,” by which he means restoration of the public and private practices that made the American republic…

…What goes by the name “constitutional law” has been eclipsing the U.S. Constitution for a long time…

…This arbitrary power, whose rabid guard-dog growls and barks: “Racist! Sexist! Homophobic!” has transformed our lives by removing restraints on government.

…Americans will no longer live politically according to their prejudices; they will be ruled administratively according to scientific knowledge…

For what it’s worth, this article meshes will with a couple of things I posted over the summer. Feel free to peruse those posts after reading the above article:

Our Divine Constitution
Will We Accept God’s Help?

“Available Jones” Strikes Again: Utah Violating Law To Sell Your Voting Records, Put Seniors, Others At Risk

First, please read the source op-ed, it also includes a link the the voter list website:

Herbert Admin Sells ALL Utah voters’ personal information – Except the Governor’s

Governor Herbert (aka “Available Jones”) continues to prove himself a donor’s best friend. Since 2012, I’ve tracked Utah’s mishandling of voters’ personal information. They simply don’t care at all about your privacy (note: if you have personal security concerns, please see this post to secure your info) – either you cease voting or you comply with political cronies’ data mining demands. This year, we find ourselves with yet another release of your voter information on the internet:

In its biggest single, ongoing release of personal information, the Herbert administration sells the full name, home address, phone number, age, year of birth, political party affiliation, etc.of virtually every one of Utah’s roughly 1.5 million registered voters to anyone willing to pay $1,050 for it despite an apparent prohibition in Utah Code—63G-2-302(1)(l).

First, take a look at the linked code citation. It is prefaced with “The following records are private:”

(l)    a record that:
(i)    contains information about an individual;
(ii)    is voluntarily provided by the individual; and
(iii)    goes into an electronic database that:
(A)    is designated by and administered under the authority of the Chief Information Officer; and
(B)    acts as a repository of information about the individual that can be electronically retrieved and used to facilitate the individual’s online interaction with a state agency;

It appears that the voter list would qualify under this section. Evidently, when priority is placed on pleasing the political elite and donor class, laws shall be ignored. Fortunately, they have good cover as the media and both political parties are complicit in this (Herbert may be the head honcho but the political enablers abound).

This release also indicates that Lt. Governor engaged in kabuki theater when he was ‘asking’ for the voter list to be secured in 2014. As the custodian of the list and in charge of sales thereof, there’s been nary a complaint from him. Cox could also be a total dupe since Gov. Herbert’s information is protected and not on the website but Lt. Gov. Cox’s information (along with his family’s) is on the site.

The implications are obvious, anyone who has a security concern has a gaping personal privacy leak greatly simplifying an attackers’ job of identifying their victim’s (and family’s) location etc. The list also provides a convenient means for scam artists to target the elderly as year of birth, age, and phone number are also on the database. Finally, for a local touch, LDS Church and other local Jewish and Christian church leadership listed on the database may want to up their security given the recent threats from Daesh/ISIS to target them (see this post and scroll down for intel source links).

Another Hillary-Media Lie: The 2008 Financial Collapse

This is just a quickie to point out a lie that Hillary uttered in the debate and Democrat allies (eg the mainstream media) continue to parrot. She tried to pin the 2008 meltdown on tax policy. It is absolutely absurd. As noted in 2008, she only needs to look in the mirror. I’m not the only one who caught her lie:

In fact, tax policies had almost nothing to do with the recession of 2008. What caused the market crash was the collapse of the subprime market. If that collapse had an architect-in-chief, his name was Bill Clinton. This is not a speculation. It is an easily documented fact…

The article goes on to discuss Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, Franklin Raines, Community Reinvestment Act, and arm twisting banks under thread of ‘racism’. Funny thing is all of that should sound very familiar. Here’s a blast from the 2008 past:

Burning Down the House: The Financial Fiasco in Under Ten Minutes (Updates)

Here’s the video I posted back then:

Ah, good times, indeed. If you want more on the bailout, use the bailout tag and scroll down to the 2008-2009 time frame.

Tony Yapias Charged With Rape

I was going to just post this on the Utah Rattles microblog but my comments and two articles made it too long and better suited here.

I didn’t know him on a deeply personal level so I can’t comment on his personalty. I know he liked playing the race card against people opposed to him. Nevertheless, this just about knocked me over when I saw it. I’m still shocked.

The article seems to indicate that he may have used her “immigration status” as leverage.

Prominent Latino activist Tony Yapias charged with rape

The defendant was also aware of the victim’s immigration status. As part of the text exchange on March 21, court documents indicate, Yapias stated: ‘I’m at meeting about immigration with representatives from Washington D.C.’

SL Trib article clarifies why Davis County will be prosecuting this instead of Salt Lake County:

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said police initially brought the case to his office, but he asked Davis County to take over. Gill said he has known Yapias for years, their paths crossing in Utah Democratic Party circles and on community work on immigration issues. Gill said he had appeared on Yapias’ radio show during the previous election cycle, so he passed the case on to another prosecutor to avoid any possible conflicts.

They aren’t kidding when they say he was prominent, either. He was a lead in lobbying the LDS Church on the Utah Compact (I think he’s even in the photo op from that) and, as I recall, was also a staunch opponent of e-verify and big proponent of HB 116 likely teaming with LDS Church lobbyists, Senator Bramble, and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce to lobby for the bill’s passage. He also coordinated a bunch of the amnesty marches in Salt Lake. So yea, he was prominent.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty so we’ll see where this goes but based on the evidence presented in the article this doesn’t sound like it will end well for him. I’m still dumbfounded at this whole thing.

The Good And Blessed USA

Today’s a day of reflection. It’s amazing that 15 years have passed since Islamic terrorists killed so many in their twisted hate.

I just want to say I wish people here would think about how wonderful we have it here in the US. I’ve lived in several nations where true poverty exists and real walls to fulfilling your potential exist. People here seem oblivious to this and seem intent on seeking absurd reasons to be miserable and make a hobby at finding fault where none exists. Many spend more time trying to scapegoat their own shortcomings rather than identifying a path forward and pushing passed (or blowing up) any real obstacles ahead (usually of their own making and control).

Sure the US has screwed some stuff up along the way (surprise – men are fallible). Some of that still has effects today but this nation was established on divinely inspired principles the provide for a freedom of opportunity. If those principles are adhered to, the path is open to success for all should they choose it, and work for it.

We seem to be losing the vision and nefarious sources will attack it. I pray that we return to the foundations of liberty and opportunity, that we don’t get sucked into Pyrrhic solutions to false disparity. Take the time to look on history, the real misery of nations (past and present) and sacrifices made for us. The US is a righteous nation and one to be proud of. Let’s not blow it.

Finally: A Real Free Speech Platform

Earlier this year, I  effectively ditched Twitter and will ultimately terminate my account there. I don’t think I’ve used it for months now*. As I said back then, I was not interested in providing content to a provider that claimed to be all for open dialog but they turn to censorship and double standards when someone disagrees with their worldview. Heh, I still smile when I think of their “Trust and Safety Council” seemingly pulled from an Orwell novel.

So for a while now, I’ve been using my own microblog. Meh, it’s ok and it let me keep a list of stuff that interested me with a couple of quips added in for fun.

Evidently, I wasn’t the only one who walked away. A few weeks ago I heard about gab.ai. The platform is much like Twitter and is in beta (more info on gab.ai). The libertarian developer also wanted a real open discussion platform. Thus, gab.ai was born.

I’ve been playing on  Gab (hence fewer posts on my microblog) and it’s been awesome. Yep, it’s in beta but continually improving. Most folks are libertarian, conservative, and some so-called ‘alt-right’ but there’s a growing contingent of lefties who are also unimpressed with double standard free speech. Everyone is welcome as long as your goal isn’t to suppress another’s speech (a thick skin is a plus).

Head on over, what every political stripe you are, and sign up for your invite. Get ready to speak freely!

*As an aside: dumping social media for a while is fantastic! You realize how much better stuff there is to do with your time (you know, like real life relationships). I’m on Gab now but easily spend less overall time with social media fluff.

Bountiful City Council Sophistry For Their New City Hall

A bit over a month ago, I warned that Bountiful City Council had begun another foray at getting their new city hall. A few days ago I got their glossy propaganda pamphlet telling my why I should be happy to see $21 Million more in taxes be spent so “visionary” politicians can put their names on new projects paid for by taxpayers. The pamphlet’s rationale is simply absurd:

The author attempts to justify a new city hall as an economic driver for Main Street. I’m sorry, a new city hall is not a tourist attraction. The same clients coming for permits are not going to all-of-a-sudden start burning cash on Main St. because city hall has a new car smell. Private business is an economic driver, not pretty new government buildings with no additional services.

Further, Main street is not an easily accessible area and unless they want to gut blocks of city to totally restructure the roads from I-15, it will remain the same. This ‘revitalizing Main St’ shtick as a justification for pet projects that have been going on for well over a decade. Enough already.

Other justifications for the spending include a plaza for chalk art, a car show, and undefined community events. All seem like they would qualify for the RAP Tax we already pay (they’re double dipping). All already have perfectly adequate venues and interest groups are welcome to fund improvements (if they actually even want any in the first place) rather than tapping school and county tax funds.

The taxes not increasing thing is bogus. RDAs are a synonym for “robbing Peter to pay Paul” in my book or as a state Legislative Audit report states:  “When RDAs take property taxes as allowed in tax increment financing (TIF), other taxing entities suffer. .” Yes, tax rates will not increase…yet. What happens is that the schools and Davis county just gave up $21 Million in revenue. In a few years they’ll need a building or have some other spending shortfall. Then we get tagged with urgent demands for a tax increase or extension of a prior tax increase (bonds) ‘to fund these critical needs for the children’ or for public safety – the same project(s) that would have otherwise been funded by the forgone RDA money. So, yeah, there is an indirect impact on our tax rates, be it an increase or, in the case of bond extensions, rates that were not reduced (and money not returned).

Finally, the pamphlet claims a net $17 Million benefit (with a 261% ROI). If that is true, the RDA is unnecessary and a developer should jump at that kind of a return. So, I guess we don’t need the RDA after all, hooray!

Addendum: The Better Bountiful group appears to be the main opposition. It has recently set up a website (NoNewCityHall.com) specifically dealing with this issue. One of their first and greatest challenges will be to overcome the involvement inertia so well describe by Rose and Milton Friedman.