Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Busybodies and Property Rights.

So I went to the Urban Agricultural Task force meeting Monday night.  

Sounds like they're going with just 6 chickens period -- and then if you want more you have to get permission from 60% of the neighbors w/in 100 feet of your property (of course you have to pay for a license too) so not too bad. I have a big issue with the idea that your neighbors have a say in what goes on on your own property. I still say, leave people alone and do what they want. Period. Only restrict stuff if it's actually causing damage to their neighbors use of their property (smell, and sound pollution).

Other animals aren't so fortunate. If you want to have a hoofed animal, you have to petition the city to change your zoning to Ag zoning. I explained to the task force that free people don't need permission from the government to do what they want with their own property. I'm trying to get members of the task force to change the language at least to "Farm animals over 100 pounds" to be restricted. A couple members said they'd be willing to take hoofed animals off the table if we could get some good language, so I'm trying to see what I can come up with. If anybody has any ideas please post in the comments.

Rabbits aren't fairing as well either. They're including them in the definition of a pet -- which means you can't have more then 4. Period. Luckily, tonight there was a lady from the American Rabbit Breeders association who gave a pretty convincing speech about how 4 isn't enough of a heard if you want to show them. Apparently urban 4-H groups do a lot of urban rabbit breeding, so this would pretty much ban it.

I also found out about the complaint that set this whole thing off.  Somebody was complaining about a lady who had 250 rabbits. Well, this breeder rep actually new the lady and informed the task force that they only 100, they were all indoors in a facility, and inspectors have been out their numerous times and it's very clean and well kept.  Apparently by the time humans start smelling ammonia the rabbits are already diseased and in respiratory distress. So anybody caring for rabbits would be taking care of them at a much higher standard then it could ever start interfering with a neighbors use of their property.

It really bothers me that a few busy bodies, can get the council up in arms to the point that they start banning activities for everybody just because of a few nosy neighbors.
More, as this progresses.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Mercantile/Fascist Origins of Public/Private Partnerships.

Below is a statement I made to the city council regarding public private partnerships.

"I wanted to talk today about Public/Private partnerships. It seems like most of the council and the Mayor thing Public/Private partnerships are a successful panacea to get things done. Well, I think much of this depends on what we mean by successful, getting things done, and at who's expense when it does get done.

"Public/Private partnerships are nothing new. It might be a relatively new word, but the concept actually goes back centuries. In fact do you know what the technical definition of fascism is? According to Mussolini, fascism, or "the Third Way" was the merging of big business/ with big government. Fascism, in Mussolini's mind, was sort of a compromise between free market, and socialist philosophies. The government still get's to control things, and businesses still get to make money -- as long as the businesses do what the government wants.

"This was not a new concept. 200 years prior this exact same philosophy that Mussolini thought he invented was called Mercantilism. Again, where government, through subsidies, monopoly grants of privilege, licensure, and other sorts of "partnerships" with private actors determined what was and wasn't done. Adam Smith wrote his "Wealth of Nations" explaining why we don't need government picking and choosing what projects we need. The government doesn't need to make decisions about whether we need tennis courts, or businesses downtown, or whatever. Individuals, can make decisions about what they, and society needs, and how to spend their money and manage heir own business and personal lives, better then government.

"What's interesting is that when you read Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto 100 years later. It was supposedly against capitalism, but really every single example Marx cited, was actually an example of Mercantilism. Again: Big business/big government partnership. (See Straw Men and Ham Sandwiches by B K Marcus)

"There's a reason, why both socialists and free market advocates are opposed to public/private partnerships. It's because historically, the only people who get wealth redistributed to them are the politically connected rich, and the only thing the public gets, are the losses.

And we have numerous examples of this in our city. The Pavilion for instance: The private people that helped fund that -- they made some money, but now that it's a sink-hole it's the taxpayers that are paying for the loss. The same thing's going to happen with swimming pools, ice centers, and tennis courts. If they make any money, the private contributors will make some money. But if it generates a loss, they're off the hook. But the taxpayers are expected to hold the tab.

The CORE program is another perfect example of this Mercantile philosophy. Why is the city, deciding that downtown is so important that it's OK to steal from taxpayers and businesses that aren't so politically connected, and giving corporate welfare to businesses downtown. Frankly, I was appalled that people like Erpenbach, and Agular. Liberals who supposedly care about help the little guy, supporting the continuation of the "Socialism for Rich People," Which is what the CORE program really is. This Greenway project is another example. Why are the taxpayers paying to, increase the property values, of big business, at the expense of their livelihood? 

Another example of this is the Diversity center. You can also be sure, that if the Diversity center was responsible for raising all of it's own money, it would have much better customer service and vender relations then what we heard here last week. We need to get them off the public dole, if there's any hope of straightening that place out -- and I'll remind you this isn't the first time there's been issues with the diversity center.

Public/private partnerships are basically nothing more then wealth transfers buy the government from the poor to the wealthy. It's time the city council started thinking differently.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Indoor Aquatic Center Update

Apparently I was mistaken regarding the indoor swimming pool The bill only allowed for $13 Million to be spent replacing the outdoor swimming pool at Spellerberg Park. But the amendment that was offered by Councilor Greg Jamison to create a master plan that would look into building an indoor pool allows the city to take some of that money and spend $160,000 figuring out a plan to build it -- that might go in Spellerberg in place of it.

You know what Master Plans are right? That's when the city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on "research" by hiring an "expert" to tell them what they want to hear so they have cover to go do what they want to do anyway.

Remember all the Millions of dollars that went into "research" for the Event Center?

Yeah. Me too.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sioux Falls City Council Meeting. Everybody has their hand out.

So I went to the City Council Meeting Tuesday Night, as the budget was being voted on. Everybody had their hand out.Everybody was also promoting public-private partnerships. (i.e., fascism) The Tennis associations wanted the city to give them $500,000 to help them raise $2 million to build a tennis court. They passed a bill to spend $13 Million on a new outdoor aquatic center with the option to make in an indoor one instead for over $20 Million. Also included in the budget was over 1.2 Million for an indoor Ice Center -- again for a private company to come up with another $5 Million.

I would say there were probably a few hundred people in the room. Only a few were even opposed to the indoor aquatic center, and the only reason they were opposed to it was because they just didn't want it in their park. They just wanted it someplace else.

I stood up and made a statement based on the following which I had per-written.

Taxation is coercion. If you don't believe me. Don't pay your taxes. Some guy with a gun will show up at your door and take you to jail. There's no possible way to collect taxes with-out the threat of violence if somebody doesn't pay. Personally I think locking somebody in jail just because they choose to refuse to pay for services they don't want to be criminal. Nobody talks about this, but the only way the city gets money is by taking it from the people, with-out their consent. 

As a man of peace then, I believe taxes should be reduced as low as possible. If you have several hundred thousand dollars in the budget for Indoor Aquatic Centers, and indoor Tennis courts, and everything else you want to do. What you should do, is give the money back to the people by slashing taxes by the amount that all this is costing, and let individuals decide for themselves how to spend their own money.  If their really is all this demand for indoor swimming pools and tennis courts, and everything else some enterprising businessman will figure out how to build it and make money by serving his customers.

In fact I would submit that, if all this demand exists. The reason these things haven't already been built is because of the expectation for government to fund it. If the people that would be building it, expect to be able to loot the taxpayers to pay for half of it then why should they put in the risk. I would submit that this expectation that the government's going to fund this is actually what stagnates the economy. You need to say no. The public treasury is not a piggy bank, and with all the support and various organizations that are here, I know -- if the actual demand exists, that we can figure out how to build theses things in a voluntary manner -- either through business and mutually beneficial exchange, or charitable efforts.

All I know is both would have a lot more money to work with if the city government slashed taxes.

Now, on a more practical note. I used to work in a Motel with a swimming pool. Those motel swimming pools stay empty for a good 8 hours of the day -- maybe more. I know the place I worked at would let anybody from off the street use their pool for $2 if they wanted to use it. Now at night when their customers are in the hotel yes, that's kind of crowded, but during the middle of the day there's lots of pool resources that are just sitting empty. Now, not being used.

I had looked through some sections of the budget between the time I'd written this. One of the things I realized was, these hand-outs are just a tip of the iceberg. These was $190,000 to put escalators in the Washington Pavilion (as if that's not a big enough money pit), and more funding for the Greenway project (another piece of corporate welfare) etc.

After all the testimony from the public was given, there were some amendments offered from some of the city councilors. Kermit Staggers issued an amendment that would simply not raise property taxes by 3% this year. It was squashed. They called up one of the people from the city accounting office to show a bunch of graphs about why it would be disastrous if the council didn't raise property taxes just this one year. The amendment failed 7 to 1. They said there's no spending cuts offered in the amendment. (Nevermind that Kermit had a 2nd amendment coming up with spending cuts in it.)

Kermit issued another amendment regarding the CORE revitalization fund. CORE is a fund that basically gives free money to businesses in Downtown Sioux Falls, Or as I like to call it "Socialism for Rich People." The Amendment would have simply abolished the program over 4 years. The Amendment failed 7-1 with Kermit being the sole yes vote (You know Kermit votes yes quite a lot.)

Kermit issued 2 other amendments Regarding the Tennis Court, and the Ice Center. Very tame amendments I thought, that just said We won't give the Indoor Tennis Court, or the Ice Center any money until the private people involved raised their amount of the funds. Again, both amendment's were quashed.

Entamen issued an Amendment to put some of the pool money into a master plan product to study the aquatic rec system in Sioux Falls as a whole. (think millions of dollars down the drain like all those Event Center studies" His Passed 7-1 (With Kermit being the loan Decent thinking about the taxpayers.)

Anderson originally had an amendment he had introduced that would have reduced the budget by $80,000 by abolishing the Rec Dept coordinator -- He withdrew his own amendment so it didn't get voted on.

Then Kermit  tried to introduce an Amendment to removed the $190,000 going to build escalators in the Pavilion. He couldn't even get a 2nd.

Everybody else besides Kermit in the city government is a spendaholic.

We need more people calling the City Councillors and going to the meetings.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The South Dakota Liberty Tracer

One of the most important things we need to do is to keep organized, and stay connected. To that end, I'm going to be publishing a weekly e-newsletter with updates on what the different groups around the state are doing, as well as educational articles on what we need to to organize and reach out and find other advocates of liberty with-in the state of South Dakota.

This does take time however, and unfortunately in my financial situation I'm not able to do it for free. I'm going to need some help if I'm going to continue to keep us connected.

So, to that end I'll be charging $1 a week for the newsletter. This will be a great way to share encouragement between different regions of the state, as well and share what works and what doesn't in private forum so the enemies of liberty don't know our plans.

It'll also make sure I consistently stay engaged in keeping us together as well, which is something that's beneficial to all of us in the liberty movement I believe.

I will also be taking submissions from other people around the state for consideration. E-mail me at if you have any upcoming events, training videos or articles, or other submissions you'd like to see enclosed in future e-newsletters.