by Robt Ball | 10:49 am, April 11, 2013Be the voice America needs and keep this story alive. The Main Stream Media stopped doing their job a long time ago. Anything that might hurt "their guy" is ignored. Heroes are dead. We need the truth.
Original Post: The Intermittent Blogger
by Michelle Morin | 2:17 am, April 11, 2013
by Michelle Morin
This is an update to my 4/7/13 post, “Colorado State Patrol – Christians Need to be Watched, Treated with Caution.”
Since posting this, both the Prowers County Sheriff and the Colorado State Patrol have responded. Here’s what each has said.
From the Prowers County Sheriff Jim Faull:
PROWERS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MEDIA RELEASE April 7, 2013
One day last week Undersheriff Trowbridge attended a training class sponsored by the Colorado State Patrol. The training topic was sovereign citizens and outlaw motorcycle gangs and was held in La Junta, Colorado.
Undersheriff Trowbridge informed me the next day that the instructor who was an employee of the State Patrol assigned to the intelligence section of that agency was teaching that people who believe the Bible is the literal word of God and fundamentalists plus those that do not agree with the changes taking place in America could find themselves under the scrutiny of law enforcement. This particular instructor stated that his information comes from the federal Homeland Security Agency
I think it would be appropriate for the Colorado State Patrol to suspend this particular training until it can be reevaluated and appropriate changes made. The first amendment gives us freedom of religion plus other fundamental rights. When an instructor with a state law enforcement agency is teaching their own employees and other law enforcement agencies that bible believing citizens and those that do not agree with current political trends are dangerous and should be under the scrutiny of law enforcement, then that agency needs to make some fundamental changes with that particular course.
Prowers County Sheriff
Note: I will be out of town the rest of the day. I will be in my office on Monday to answer any questions.
From the Colorado State Patrol:
From Ian Blacker, CSP Chaplain, 4/10/13:
The official response of the CSP to the allegations from a Prowers County Under sheriff:
A law enforcement training class offered by the Colorado State Patrol on April 1, 2013. We have spoken to several officers who attended this same training and have verified that none of them interpreted the instructor’s comments in the manner described by the undersheriff. We regret that he misrepresented the training in a way that clearly is not the position of the Colorado State Patrol. The Colorado State Patrol will not target individuals or groups based on religious, idealogical, political or other affiliations, and we do not condone any such practice. OUr core values of honor, duty and respect are the foundation of the Colorado State Patrol. We will never compromise these values or the public trust?
h/t Ian Blacker, CSP Chaplain
These are exceptionally and increasingly trying times here in Colorado as the leftists in power pull out all the stops to destroy all which have made this nation the freest in history.
What occurred in the April 1st training has served to open a dialogue and awareness of the systematic breakdown of our Constitutional rule of law (particularly in Colorado), and its confusing and negative effects on both law enforcement officers and they citizens they serve. This is precisely what happens when the unbridled left is in power – and the left currently runs all 3 branches of Colorado’s state government. With so many new laws which contradict (and
ignore trample) multiple Constitutional rights and the disturbing changes resulting here, it’s a healthy dialogue for Colorado’s citizens to ask if the CSP training officer was speaking on his own behalf, or if the alleged remarks about “sovereign citizens” represent an official position of the CSP. Hence, this post.
As I said in my original post, local law enforcement, in particular, are being put at a new crossroads and positioned to make some tough decisions about their duties. They will very soon be choosing between enforcing Constitutional rule of law and new laws which contradict our Constitutional principles and which make criminals out of innocents. Since local law enforcement is the last person standing between unconstitutional, over-reaching laws and the innocent citizens they criminalize, we must know exactly where our law enforcement stands on these serious and difficult issues.
We now have a clearer understanding of and appreciation for just how serious our Sheriffs are about defending Constitutional rights and the citizens they serve. We also now have an official statement from the CSP which might assuage some concerns and give Coloradans more insight into the various levels of law enforcement at work in our state.
I will keep my readers updated on any developments. As the left’s unconstitutional new laws take effect, there is certain to be more chaos resulting from the rule-of-law breakdown brewing in our state. And by the way… if you haven’t already, consider get involved in your local politics. It’s the only way we who value our nation’s founding principles of freedom can roll back the approaching leftist-induced mayhem.
Original Post: Michelle Morin » PPC
by Randall Smith | 8:43 pm, April 10, 2013
I have a feeling that there are people at the Heritage Foundation who don't really understand technology.
However, there is room for sensible government action that encourages the private sector to take more responsibility for its cybersecurity. For example, Congress should encourage the development of a cybersecurity liability and insurance system that would hold companies responsible when cyber failures in their products or services lead to costs on others. This would encourage companies to invest more in security.
What about Free/Libre and Open Source Software? Software like Linux, the Apache web server and the Firefox web browser are developed by volunteers. Which of the thousands of developers do you sue if a vulnerability in Linux causes a breach? What if a library, developed by a single person, has a vulnerability that is exploited? Are you going to bankrupt him because if it?
This is a common fallacy made by people with a corporate view of the world. There is useful software being developed by individuals all over the world outside of the corporate space. From a security perspective, open source software provides a level of assurance that closed source software can't match because the code is open for inspection. You can read the code for yourself to ensure that there are no back doors and compile from the audited code to ensure that nothing slips in.
For example, the Chinese company Huawei has be selling dirt cheap Internet routers in the US. According to a report published by the House of Representatives, the routers are under the control of the Chinese governemnt. I have a co-worker who used to work for Level 3 Communications. They verified that as soon as the routers were plugged in, they started to phone home to China.
Because these devices are "black boxes", there's no way to know what they're doing. With open source software, that's not a problem. This proposal would put a damper on the greatest source of secure software.
Maiffret also mentioned the need for improved cooperation among private-sector actors. Currently, companies are afraid to share cybersecurity information for fear of losing privileged information, being sued, or even being prosecuted.
Do you think that will change once the government starts making those companies financially liable for security breaches? Of course not. They'll be even tighter lipped than they are now.
Congress should amend particular outdated laws, provide key sharing protections, and outline ways the private sector can act in its own self-defense. Cooperation shouldn’t be limited to just passive defense; companies need to be enabled to partner with the government agencies such as the FBI to actively fight hackers.
Yippee! Let's let companies and the FBI begin automated assaults on suspected hackers. I'm sure there won't be an problems when they take out Granny's Internet provider because she got a virus. And how long do you think it will be before some MPAA or RIAA exec decides that anyone pirating a movie or music is a hacker and will launch a cyber attack to collect information to use in a lawsuit.
I agree that developers should be more security-minded in their development processes but giving corporations and the FBI free rein to launch counter attacks is downright scary. The real question is: How much of our critical infrastructure should be connected to the Internet. The answer is: A lot less than is connected, currently and, perhaps, none of it.
All in all, organizations should be doing more to ensure that their systems are secure. These proposals are not going to get us there.
Original Post: Music Free Static
by Eddie | 11:47 am, April 10, 2013
Has it really been more than six whole months since the Hollywood movie Won’t Back Down hit the Denver and national scene. While not a blockbuster success, the parent power-themed, feature-length film certainly raised the profile of K-12 education reform. Two moms took charge and took on the bureaucracy and union opposition to change the trajectory of a failing school.
At that same time last fall, the Center for Education Reform released the first-ever Parent Power Index. Colorado ranked 14th in the measurement of parent access to school choice, vibrant charter school and online learning options, quality classroom teachers, and transparent information.
Today comes the sequel and the exciting, bold-headline update that our state has climbed the rankings from 14th to 13th! We’re above the national average, at least, which should placate some status quo defenders who cling to that point of comparison.
Since Parent Power is such an important piece of improving K-12 education, I thought it would be helpful for Colorado to look UP and see the 11 states (plus D.C.) that rank higher on the Index, the Dazzling Dozen:
- District of Columbia
Aim high, Colorado! When it comes to Parent Power, we can certainly do better!!
Original Post: Ed is Watching
by amy | 10:04 pm, April 9, 2013
Despite close to seven hours of testimony on SB13-252, a bill to raise the renewable energy mandate 150 percent on rural electric co-ops, it is very clear that the bill’s prime sponsors Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) do not understand their own bill and didn’t bother to consult those who can comprehend the complexity of this legislation. It passed out of committee on a party line vote.
The bill was heard yesterday in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. Members include:
- Senator Angela Giron, Chair, (D-Pueblo) and a bill sponsor
- Senator Matt Jones, Vice-Chair, (D-Louisville) and a bill sponsor
- Senator Ted Harvey, (R-Highlands Ranch)
- Senator Evie Hudak (D-Westminster)
- Senator Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa)
What the sponsors say it will do:
- Imposes a mandate on rural electric co-ops forcing them to get 25 percent of the electricity they supply to members from government-selected “renewable” sources, such as wind and solar by 2020.
- Removes the in-state preference for the 1.25 kilowatt-hour multiplier.
- Expands the “renewable” sources to include coal-mine methane and municipal waste.
- Increases the retail rate impact from 1 to 2 percent, which Sen. Giron calls “acceptable.”
What the bill really will do:
- Despite no projected fiscal impact to state government, it will cost co-op members anywhere from $2 billion to 4 billion, more than $8,000 per meter, including those in 10 of Colorado’s poorest counties.
- Removes the in-state multiplier because current law is unconstitutional. The state is being sued over it and doesn’t want to lose, which would force the state to pay attorney’s fees.
- Drive jobs out of the state because of high electricity costs.
- “Blow up the electric co-operative business model.”
- Likely force the state to spend taxpayer money defending this new law in court.
- Devastate rural economies.
- Drive up the cost of business for Colorado’s farmers and ranchers at the same time they are suffering through a devastating drought.
- Force co-ops to try to comply with a law that well could be a “physical impossibility.”
- So many people showed up to testify that the hearing had to moved to a larger room, and still an over-flow room was needed to accommodate the crowd
- Neither Senator Morse nor Schwartz could answer basic questions about the rate cap and indicated the committee would hear from “experts” who could answer questions.
- All three Moffat County Commissioners showed up to testify against the bill.
- Tri-State Generation, wholesale power supplier owned by co-ops, and every electric co-op that testified stated they were not consulted at all regarding the bill despite their repeated attempts to engage with sponsors once they heard legislation would be coming.
- Bi-partisan opposition
- Partisan support
- Senator Harvey was the best-prepared legislator.
Below are highlights and lowlights of SB252 testimony.
Forced to admit:
Senator Harvey asked Senator Morse if the electric cooperatives were ever consulted regarding SB 252. Morse couldn’t say, “yes,” so he answered with a long-winded “no.”
Former Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Chairman Ron Binz, who resigned under the cloud of an ethics complaint, acknowledged that Xcel Energy may well benefit by selling “renewable energy credits” (RECs) to Colorado’s rural co-ops in order for them to comply with this law.
Senator Ted Harvey asked several supporters of SB 252 if they would support the 150 percent mandate increase if they didn’t benefit directly from the bill. The answer: “No.”
Senator John Morse stated if the “market” wanted a renewable mandate we would have one. But since the market doesn’t, government must force it.
Supporter and former state representative Buffy McFadden, current Pueblo County Commissioner, said she wasn’t sure if renewable energy would “go to market” if government didn’t force it.
“Two percent rate cap” comes under fire:
Senator Harvey asked sponsors to explain the two percent rate cap. They couldn’t.
Under pressure from Senator Ted Harvey, PUC Executive Director Doug Dean struggled to explain the total cost of the Colorado’s renewable energy mandate and the two percent rate cap. Dean finally acknowledged that the two percent rate cap only applies to “incremental costs,” and followed up with “it’s pretty complicated.”
Binz perpetuates the 2 percent rate cap myth. Says in testimony, “as an officer of the state,” the PUC and Xcel do not mislead the public on the cost of renewable energy.
Four hours later, Independence Institute energy policy analyst William Yeatman directly addresses Binz’s misleading characterization of how Xcel recovers the total cost of the renewable energy mandate. Yeatman clarifies using real numbers: two percent of Xcel’s retail electric sales in 2012 was $53 million, which was captured in the Residential Electric Standard Adjustment (RESA). Another $291 million, not subject to the rate cap, was captured through the Electric Commodity Adjustment for a total of $343 million or 13 percent of retail sales.
Senator Harvey asked Yeatman to explain how the PUC allows this. Yeatman responded that the budgetary trick was likely the result of a dichotomy between PUC staff that acknowledges the public may be “laboring under the misapprehension of a two percent rate cap” and the Commissioners who allow it to occur.
Rich Wilson, CEO of Southeast Colorado Power Association, to bill sponsors: “you just blew apart the non-profit electric cooperative model.”
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers pleads with the committee “don’t pass this bill.”
Kent Singer, Executive Director of Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA), to bill sponsors and supporters, “even after five hours of testimony, I don’t think you have a clear picture of how this [SB252] works.”
Singer continues, had sponsors come to us, we could have explained it, but they NEVER did.
Singer: two percent rate cap is far more complicated than Ron Binz would lead you to believe.
Dan Hodges, Executive Director of Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities, responding to inquires about why Senator Morse would exclude his own utility owned by the city of Colorado Springs: the state constitution excludes municipal utilities from state regulation because they are owned by their citizens. “it’s unconstitutional” to draw municipals into this…”I don’t think it is appropriate for rural electric cooperatives to be drawn in either” because they are owned by their members.
Binz belittles non-profits cooperatives and their members: “Tri-State [Generation] doesn’t have the state’s interest in mind.” Tri-State is owned by electric cooperatives, which, in turn, are owned by members. Most of those members are rural Coloradans.
Senator Gail Schwartz said her neighbors in Aspen and Snowmass want more options for and access to renewables such as solar panels. My question: Why don’t they just pay for it?
Dave Lock, Senior manager, government relations for Tri-State, addresses Binz, “you can be damn sure Tri-State cares about Colorado.”
Lock responding to Binz’s disbelief about Tri-State’s $2-4billion analysis. “We only had five days,” which included a weekend because we were never allowed at the table.
Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers, “I own a bar. I’d like to mandate that everyone drink 25 percent more.”
John Kinkaid of Moffat County “we aren’t contributing to your [Denver’s] brown cloud.”
War on Rural Colorado:
All three Moffat County Commissioners John Kinkaid, Tom Mathers, and Chuck Grobe echoed the theme that SB 252 is an assault on rural ratepayers and equivalent to “war on rural Colorado.”
Norma Lou Murr, a Walsenburg senior citizen on a fixed income, waited patiently for hours to testify. When her turn finally came, she asked the committee “to look very seriously” before raising her electric rates.
The way the state legislative Democrats are handling this legislation is similar to how they handled gun control – leave those most impacted out of the conversation and then completely ignore their concerns during testimony.
Original Post: Energy Policy Center
by Randall Smith | 9:21 pm, April 9, 2013
There's a bill working it's way through the General Assembly that would give Firefighters the "right" to negotiate on safety regulations. Government unions are always problematic but it's not the contents of the bill the interest me, it's the process.
The most vocal proponents and opponents of the bill came from Colorado Springs, where voters have twice defeated ballot measures to give collective bargaining to the city’s firefighters.
Did you catch that? Voters in Colorado Springs have voted down similar proposals twice. So, rather than get defeated a third time, supports decided to push the bill at the state level. If it were to pass there, it would be contrary to the stated wishes of the citizens of Colorado Springs.
We're seeing exactly the same tactics used at the national level. Controversial topics like gun control or abortion are being taken to Congress bypassing the will of the people in various states.
The recent gun control debates are a perfect example. States like Connecticut, California and New York are actively hostile to gun rights while states like Texas, Wyoming and Montana embrace them with open arms. Should the stated wishes of Texas voters be shoved aside because Congressmen from other states want to remove citizens' gun rights? Of course not. Yet, that's exactly what we've been seeing.
It doesn't matter what the policy is whether it's guns, abortion, civil unions or whatever. What we're seeing, especially from Democrats but Republicans are not exempt, is a push to use the Federal government to override the will of voters in their home states.
This is exactly why we have a Federalist system. Nearly all domestic policy decisions are supposed to happen at the state level. That way, the will of Californians don't override the will of Texans or vis versa. Texas can do their own thing while New York does theirs.
I, as a citizen of Colorado, shouldn't have to care that Californians want to eliminate gun rights. Unfortunately, I have to because they keep trying to ignore the will of citizens of other states by pushing their agenda through Congress.
Colorado also played host to another tactic. Tyrants opposed to gun rights from New York and elsewhere pushed hard to get Colorado to adopt their extreme and tyrannical gun laws. The idea was to use Colorado as an example to then pressure politicians in other states and Congress to do the same thing. "If Colorado can do it, so can you," is the cry we've been hearing over and over again since the bills passed and we'll here it even more over the next few weeks.
These tactics mean that your rights are never safe. No matter how much your state or your community values liberty, those that don't will try to use a higher level over of government to take them from you. Next stop, the United Nations.
Original Post: Music Free Static
by Randall Smith | 7:30 pm, April 9, 2013
Senators John Morse and Gail Schwartz are pushing a bill that would increase the amount of energy that rural electric co-ops have to generate from renewable sources from 10 to 25 percent. It's no surprise in Schwartz's case. She's long been a proponent of extreme environmentalism over reality. What's really exciting is that she's screwing over her former constituents.
For those of you who don't remember, Gail Schwartz used to represent the San Luis Valley before the whole reapportionment kerfuffle. Since then, she has stated on many occasions that she wanted the San Luis Valley to know that she would still pull for them in the Senate. I guess that's over with.
You see, the San Luis Valley is made up of some the poorest counties in Colorado. With SB 252, she's is going to jack up the energy rates of most of the people in those poverty stricken counties. All she's doing is making some of the poorest people in the state even poorer.
Ah, but who cares right? The marginal environmental gains are much more important to her than the economic welfare of the people who originally voted her into office. I guess we know were she really stands in her support for the poor.
Original Post: Music Free Static
by Mike Krause | 4:49 pm, April 9, 2013
The Denver Post covers the lawsuit against Colorado’s new gun owner-control laws by Colorado sheriffs:
Thirty-seven of the state’s 62 elected sheriffs are prepared to sue to overturn laws that now prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines holding more than 15 rounds and require background checks for all private gun sales, Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said Tuesday.
The Post piece also mentions the Independence Institute’s role:
The lawsuit would be handled by lawyer Dave Kopel, research director of the Independence Institute, a conservative think-tank, and adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law…
Damn straight, the Independence Institute is both honored, and ready, to stand with the sheriffs to defend the civil liberties of Coloradans’ against the Bloomberg/White House orchestrated assault on the Second Amendment.
You can donate to the lawsuit here.
Original Post: Jon Caldara » PPC
by Rossputin | 4:30 pm, April 9, 2013
How much would you need to be able to retire comfortably? If you’re not sure of the answer, don’t worry: the Obama administration will answer for you.
President Obama’s FY 20414 budget will be released on Wednesday — two months later than the legal deadline. But thanks to administration leaks, too conveniently released just hours before last Friday’s horrendous employment report, we have some idea what it will contain.
Most of the Obama budget will be the same tiresome mix of higher taxes, higher spending, and budgetary gimmicks that would land any private sector CFO in jail.
Despite the larger fiscal impact of other provisions of the Obama budget, it is hard to match the audacity, paternalism, and economic idiocy of Obama’s plan to limit individual retirement accounts to a maximum of $3 million.
What we know so far offers more questions than answers; the answers we have already are bad and the questions even worse.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
Original Post: Rossputin.com
by Robt Ball | 1:00 pm, April 9, 2013
Original Post: The Intermittent Blogger
Praise for PPC From Our Lefty "Fan"
- "Zany-ass bombast-entertainment...Hackneyed weirdo communist pseudo-nostalgia" --Alan Franklin, ProgressNow
PPC Training for Activists
UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
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