I'll use this FreeColorado.com URL to link to the new and archival material, display my Twitter feed and (hopefully) my new blog's RSS feed, and so on.
Labels: Campaign 2010
The Post argues that, because actors can use fake cigarettes on stage, the state smoking ban should apply. But just because The Post is capable of publishing fake news and commentary doesn't mean it should be forbidden from publishing the real thing. The owners should decide policy, and patrons should decide which plays to see. It is a matter of property rights as well as free expression. By inviting politicians to set policy in the playhouse, The Post invites them to do the same in the newsroom.
Labels: health reform
Back in 2008, Eric Calais and Paul Mann, geophysicists who study fault lines in the Caribbean, predicted that Haiti would soon face such a devastating quake. ...
Calais says that because Haiti poses safety concerns and a difficult work environment with a poor road access system, it's been neglected by seismologists. ...
But his research didn't translate well enough to elicit safety precautions before the quake. Though Calais notes that earthquakes can't be prevented, he says there was enough advance warning for the Haitian government to make preparations, and, in fact, his team alerted the government four to five years beforehand.
"We've told the Haitian government that the Enriquillo fault is a major player," Calais says. "We've told them exactly where the fault is. We've told them how fast it was building up elastic energy, and we've told them that right now, if it was to go, it could produce a 7.2 in magnitude or larger event."
The government has worked with the team and listened to its foreboding reports, Calais says, but for the most part, Haiti has failed to implement emergency plans and restructure crucial buildings.
The ultimate tragedy in Haiti isn't the earthquake; it's that country's lack of economic freedom. The earthquake simply but catastrophically revealed the inhuman consequences of this fact.
Registering 7.0 on the Richter scale, the Haitian earthquake killed tens of thousands of people. But the quake that hit California's Bay Area in 1989 was also of magnitude 7.0. It, though, killed only 63 people.
This difference is due chiefly to Americans' greater wealth. With one of the freest economies in the world, Americans build stronger homes and buildings, and have better health-care and better search and rescue equipment. In contrast, burdened by one of the world's least-free economies, Haitians cannot afford to build sturdy structures. Nor can they afford the health-care and emergency equipment that we take for granted here in the U.S.
These stark facts should be a lesson for those who insist that human habitats are made more dangerous, and human lives put in greater peril, by freedom of commerce and industry.
Labels: Campaign 2010
Labels: Campaign 2010
I appreciate you giving me your time at the II event to discuss your campaign.
I would like to again give you the opportunity to further articulate your views, on the record. I have a number of questions arising from our conversation. I will be happy to publish your replies, unaltered, on my web page.
1. As governor, what would be your role in dealing with the military's desire to expand Pinon Canyon operations? [See the write-up about McInnis's statements on eminent domain for background.]
I would like to act as a mediator and seek out a mutually beneficial solution if possible. I do not see issues like this as zero sum. I only have the ranchers' input thus far and they have presented a very strong case for preservation based on many valuable criteria not limited to private property rights, less federalization of state land, and cultural history. I await the Army's position in detail beyond a GAO report that has unaddressed exemptions in it.
2. Generally, when do you believe eminent domain is appropriate, if ever?
It is a constitutionally acceptable process and should be applied on a case by case basis. Application of the practice should only be exercised when there is a clear and convincing case for a purely public use and benefit.
3. Please explain what specific economic policies you would adopt. Would you seek to cut specific taxes?
Yes, personal income tax and business property tax. Possibly explore a Fairtax (consumption tax).
Cut specific state programs?
Roll back specific economic controls?
[I was under the impression that Maes wanted to cut certain regulations on business, and I was trying to figure out which regulations he might want to repeal or modify. I will be happy to post Maes's additional comments on the matter if he cares to send them.] Many politicians, including W. Bush and Obama, promised to cut taxes, so I'm looking for some specific proposals.
I see our energy industry and the accompanying tax revenues as an enormous potential for our state just like our energy producing neighbors. With aggressive and responsible energy policies we could increase these revenues dramatically. Simultaneously, I have articulated my position on downsizing government FTE [full-time employees] by up to 4000.
I will defend Tabor while seeking a better balance with the effects of Amendment 23. I am a strong advocate for public schools as I have two children attending them, however; we must seek more fiscally responsible reform.
Cutting taxes is part of my plan but only after we have struck an appropriate sizing of state government and started a statewide recovery.
4. As you know, the Colorado legislature directs corporate welfare to a variety of industries, including tourism and energy. What are your views of corporate welfare?
I would like to examine the specifics in each case. Our state constitution clearly states we are not to make investments in private entities. I want to honor the spirit of our federal and state constitutions. I do see tax breaks as viable incentives to spur our economy.
5. The "personhood" measure slated for the 2010 ballot states, "As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term 'person' shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being." Please explain your views on this measure.
I support it with the understanding that the life of the child is equal to that of the mother and shall never be considered more important than that of the mother.
I appreciate your pledge to answer the survey coming soon from my dad and me. That will probably come out the first days of January.
In closing, understand that we have 3 months until caucuses, 5.5 months until state assembly, and 11 months until the general election. It is still a tad early to have all the answers but I hope I have given you something to start with. Contrary to my opponent, I do have a copy of the current state budget and will continue to examine it, get consultation on it, and come
ready to provide even more specifics in the near future. Thank you.
Dear Mr. Dudash,
I no longer do business with Red Box because that company initiated antitrust actions against others, and I regard such action as unjust and a violation of individual rights.
Before I decide whether to do business with NCR/ DVDPlay, I'd like to know whether your company has initiated any antitrust actions or intends to do so. I will be happy to publish your response, and to make my consumer decisions accordingly.
Hi Ari, we have not initiated any lawsuits against the movie studios at this time. We have said publicly that we do not believe that is the right approach, and we are instead working with the studios to find a solution that addresses their needs, our needs and -- most importantly -- the needs of our consumers.
However, as I'm sure you can understand, I cannot comment on what actions we may or may not take in the future. But, certainly, we have not filed any lawsuits to date and have said publicly that we do not agree with the approach of litigation.
The purpose of Liberty in the Books: Economics in Action is to provide a fun forum for free-market advocates to discuss economic principles and history and their application to the important issues of the day, with the goal that members will be better able to publicly articulate the case for free markets.
Members should strive to regularly attend meetings and read the selections. Readings generally will run less than 100 pages per month and will cover various areas of policy as well as basic economic principles. Some readings will be available online, others through special reproduction rights acquired by the event's organizers. Occasionally members will need to purchase a book, which typically will provide readings for several meetings.
In order to keep the discussions interesting and topical, members should focus their comments on the reading material, though of course they may draw upon additional information that sheds light on the readings.
The group assumes a general support of free markets, enabling members to discuss matters of history and economics in greater detail than would be possible if members fundamentally disagreed about economic liberty. While membership is open, the moderators may, at their discretion, limit discussion that falls outside the purpose of the group.
While the group will discuss economics in history and theory, discussion should not assume any prior, specialized knowledge of history, economics, or policy, other than what is provided by the selected reading material. Discussion should remain accessible to any intelligent layperson familiar with the reading material, rather than veer into highly technical issues of interest only to a few.
While the moderators welcome feedback and advice from members, the moderators' decisions pertaining to Liberty In the Books are final. Moderators may, at their discretion, begin with a short presentation, invite outside discussion leaders, establish other parameters for discussion, ask disruptive members to leave, alter the location or time of meetings, change future reading selections, and in other ways guide the group.
Members are the guests of the club's organizers, who will strive to make Liberty In the Books consistently fun, inspiring, and informative.
Labels: Liberty In the Books
Defend the Republic Rally
Saturday, December 12th from 1:00 to 2:00pm
Colorado State Capital Building - West Steps
Colfax & Lincoln
Denver, CO 80203
Northern Colorado Tea Party is encouraging all supporters to attend this rally. We are asking for a voice in the debate taking place regarding the 2010 elections. If we want the GOP to listen to us, we need to show them we are a political force to be reckoned with here in Colorado.
As the war between the United State of America and the Progressives in both political parties continues to wage, the Tea Party and 912 supporters have stepped up and answered the call of duty.
Let us stand together at the State Capital on Saturday, united to make one single statement:
Principle Over Party in 2010
Speakers will include:
Mike Holler - Author of The Constitution Made Easy
Lu Busse - Leadership Chair for Co 912 Project
Dan Maes - Candidate for Colorado Governor
Tea Party & 912 Activists
[The FTC's rules] suggest that bloggers or other consumers who "endorse" a product or service online may be liable for civil penalties if they make false or unsubstantiated claims about a product or fail to disclose "material connections" between themselves and an advertiser. (Although Richard Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's division of advertising practices, told Fast Company that the Commission will focus on warnings and cease-and-desist orders, rather than monetary fines, and told PRNewser that the Commission will target advertisers for violations, not bloggers. Another FTC official reiterated this.)
I was speaking with a county chairperson today and the subject of leadership for the party came up. He expressed his unhappiness with the lack of leadership in the republican party. I do not think he was referring to the state office but rather to our elected officials and candidates. The question is...was he issuing a challenge to me or simply stating a fact?
Lesson one when talking to me, I actually do listen. Number two, I look for those messages one is really trying to communicate. Maybe he was just venting but perhaps there was more to it all especially in light of the so called attempt to provide leadership this week by those without the authority or credibility to do so.
I jumped in this race months before others did. Obviously, I had a lot of catching up to do; but more importantly, I sensed there was a leadership vacuum myself that someone had to proactively fill. That has been my style since I was a teen. When a position needed to be filled or a responsibility taken on, it was not unusual for me to stick my hand up for the job. Ah, you might have thought I was the sucker in the old days but all those rolls prepared me for what I am doing today. Boy Scout Troop Leader, Student Council Member and President, Senior Class President, Captain of the football team, manager and owner of businesses... you get the point. Many ask, why do it? It is just how God wired me I suppose and for better or worse, I am here trying to become a leader for the Republican party.
I will suffer the slings and arrows of those who would rather be leader. That is also part of leadership. I will continue to work hard in my attempt to earn the right to be your leader. Do actions match words?
The People's Candidate for Governor
Responding to your question regarding differences in me and Scott McInnis is a bit difficult in itself because Scott rarely articulates policy in his forums and speeches. We tend to hear about his family, how long he has been in Colorado, and railing against Bill Ritter. His failure to articulate any real policy was the main reason for the recent Contract for Colorado which had Josh Penry and Tom Tancredo helping his campaign actually develop a message of any kind. Thus, I do not see any connection between this document and his past or future behavior and thus nothing to differentiate myself on.
I will leave the opposition research to you and I will not attempt to articulate where Scott is on any issues. I will tell you where I stand.
1. Pinyon Canyon - I await the facts from the Army. I will seek a mutually beneficial resolution via willing sellers/leasers if at all possible.
2. Taxes - I am a true fiscal conservative and for downsizing government, and reducing taxes to spur growth not just maintaining status quo.
3. Social Issues - I have said consistently that we must stop preaching and start reaching out for a more diverse party yet I stand firm on a pro-life, and pro marriage between a man and woman platform. Some claim to have recent "revelations" and a come to Jesus but do their actions match their words?
4. Qualifications - people confuse experience with qualifications. The Governor's office is an executive office not a legislative one. Legislative experience does not translate into executive experience. Scott has very little to no executive experience. I have 20+ years of managerial and executive experience. This experience is the core qualification for the office and our current president is a great example of a legislator turned executive.
5. Campaign Style - I am becoming very popular very fast because I connect with people and truly care about what is important to them. Ask anyone who has spent a few minutes with me and they can sense the genuine, honest, hard working person who wants to earn their support and work for them. This is not 1994 anymore. People want to be treated like they are the boss. They are more informed and educated than ever before. I recognize that and treat people accordingly.
Ultimately, after all the facts are considered, people perform gut checks and ultimately ask themselves, do I like and trust this candidate. They are discovering more and more that they like and can trust me. Maybe that is the reason the full frontal assault against any choice in this primary has happened so early in this election cycle.
Thank you for the opportunity to address your readers.
Re-Energizing Colorado's Economy
Republican Candidate for Governor
In terms of advertising being a means of supporting original [journalism]... right now advertising provides like 85 percent of our revenue. It's still a huge, huge, huge driver. It's a huge source of revenue. It's going to be probably for a while. But I think our survival -- and when I say survival I'm not talking about the newspaper, I'm talking about our ability to do journalism -- I think we'll have to shift to a different model. And I think that model is that the user will have to pay for the content that he or she consumes.
I don't think that the cat is out of the bag. I think that the record industry sort of proved that, the music industry sort of proved that you can change people's behavior. Napster, in the mid-1990s, everyone thought that would just sort of kill everything, and they put those people in jail, put them out of business, and now people pay for music. They do it differently -- they don't buy albums anymore, they buy singles, but they still pay a lot of money for music.
So I think there's still hope for us, that we can sort of reverse this trend. As somebody said, I think the worst decision that was made by the owners of newspapers was to sort of be stampeded into giving away their content for free. But it doesn't mean that it's over.
80 percent of consumers recently surveyed by Forrester Research say they would discontinue their favorite free print content if they were asked to pay for it. Less than 10 percent of respondents would agree to subscription models; only three percent would opt for micropayments.
You ruined everything in the beginning by starting with giving everything away for free. It has now been almost 15 years since the Internet broke wide and you're just NOW getting around to asking people to pay for your content? I don't blame people for not wanting to pay for it anymore, why should they? Who would pay for something they can get for free?
Gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis, for example, entered Congress as a pro-choice Republican, although he exited in 2004 having received a zero ranking from NARAL Pro-choice America, an abortion-rights advocacy group.
"He makes no bones that he changed his views while in Congress," said McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy.
He voted against some abortion measures, supported others and once chaired the national Republicans for Choice.
"I personally don't support abortion," McInnis said in 1996, "but feel the decision shouldn't be made between a woman and the government but between a woman and her doctor."
He said Friday he no longer feels that way, although he has maintained his reputation as a political moderate.
"You grow older and you have kids and grandkids and friends die and you realize how important life is," said McInnis, 56.
The Rocky Mountain News in 1996 called McInnis a maverick on abortion.
He long had opposed partial-birth abortions and backed parental notification. But he opted to allow for privately funded abortions at overseas U.S. military hospitals, to let federal employees choose health insurance plans to cover abortions and to preserve federal funding for family-planning programs.
In 1995, NARAL tracked 21 roll-call votes. McInnis sided with their issues seven times.
But if customers are being taken to the cleaners, it is because U.S. lawmakers like Mr. Dodd sent them there. In May, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which bars rate increases without a 45-day notification. To reduce their risk under this law, banks in the U.S. are rushing to raise rates before it takes effect in February. Thus the Senator's latest political grandstand.
In the unlikely event that Mr. Dodd's new legislation passes, banks would limit their risk in other ways, such as canceling cards or refusing to extend credit to marginal customers. The unavailability of credit can also be a burden on struggling families, not to mention having a depressive effect on the economy.
The last thing families and small businesses need is their credit card company jacking up rates with no warning - but that's exactly what’s happening. In the first six months of this year - as Congress was writing common-sense reforms - credit card companies raised rates an average of 20 percent, according to one study. It's wrong, families need immediate relief, and that's why I've introduced two bills to put an end to credit card companies' abuses. This is something I've been fighting for since I served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and I'm going to ensure we do everything in our power to prevent credit card companies from taking advantage of consumers. ...
Earlier this year, we passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (Credit CARD Act) to prevent credit card companies from unfairly squeezing their customers with excessive rate hikes and predatory billing practices. That bill gave credit card companies until February of next year to implement many of the reforms. But instead of playing by the rules, credit card companies have been taking advantage of the implementation period to jack up already high interest rates even higher. The result is unfair rates that are further burdening families that were already struggling with debt.
I've introduced two bills to put a stop to this. One bill, which I introduced this week with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, would freeze interest rates immediately, giving consumers some immediate relief. The second, which I introduced last week, would move up the date for reforms to go into effect by more than two months, to Dec. 1, 2009, preventing companies from gaming the system and protecting consumers who play by the rules. This is like the classic story of David vs. Goliath - and I'm happy to take on Goliath.
In May, the president signed sweeping new legislation to protect consumers from abusive credit practices.
The bill, which I cosponsored, gave credit card companies until February 2010 to institute common sense reforms, like requiring advance notice of interest-rate increases, banning the practice of universal default, and protections for young people.
Instead of using this "grace period" to update their computer systems and implement the new policies, credit card companies put the squeeze on hard working, responsible credit card users by unfairly jacking up their rates.
With Colorado Congresswoman Betsy Markey leading the charge, the U.S. House yesterday voted to move up the deadline for credit card companies to comply with federal credit card reform legislation.
The 331-92 vote came after Markey, D-Fort Collins, expressed great anger and frustration over credit card companies changing agreements — including raising interest rates on consumers by as much as double -- in anticipation of the legislation. ...
"I am appalled at the complete and utter disdain with which credit card companies are treating their customers," Markey said in a statement following the vote.
Labels: Mark Udall
I am pro-life. Hearing the strong heartbeat of my unborn daughter 14 years ago at 13 weeks gestation had a profound effect on me and my beliefs. The life of every human being is precious. We must work to reduce abortions in New Jersey through laws such as parental notification, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortion.
I also believe marriage should be exclusively between one man and one woman. While, I have no issue with same sex couples sharing contractual rights, I believe that marriage should remain the exclusive domain of one man and one woman.
In an interview, Christie today outlined his own positions on social issues, saying he evolved from pro-choice to pro-life with the birth of his children but would not use the governor's office to "force that down people's throats." However, he said he favors restrictions on abortion rights such as banning partial-birth abortions and requiring parental notification and a 24-hour waiting period.
He said he favors the state's current law allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions but would veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage if it reached his desk.
There was no fiscal conservatism to balance her social radicalism. It wasn't merely that she was "pro-choice." She was also a proud recipient of a pro-abortion award named after eugenicist Margaret Sanger.
It wasn't merely that she favored higher government spending. It was also that she supported the stimulus, which every single House Republican in office opposed, on top of her support for the union-expanding card-check bill, on top of her ambiguous statements on the energy tax-imposing cap-and-trade bill.