Dear Readers: I am going to be on Silvio Canto’s show tonight (CANTO TALK, click here) with fellow SLOB, Dean of Beers with Demo, starting about 7 pm Pacific Time. That means, today I need to do a little show prep….so consider this a sneak peek.
Silvio likes to start out with a “This Day in History Segment”. And, this day in history is a hugely important one for my Egyptology fans — ON JULY 19, 1799, THE ROSETTA STONE WAS DISCOVERED!!!
On this day in 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been “dead” for nearly 2,000 years.
Interestingly, the stone was a big THANK YOU note to Ptolemy V from a bunch of priests who got a tax break. It’s too bad our current President cannot appreciate something the ancient ruler did: Remove burdens on wealth creation and gain even more wealth — and the appreciation of the people. Also, pissing off priests is usually not a good idea.
Hat-tip: Death by 1000 Paper Cuts!
One of the items I hope to bring up is a suite of our propositions. As I tell my Republican peeps – the Republican Party has abandoned California, so forget the US Senate race — focus on your local elections and the following suite of propositions:
Qualified Statewide Ballot Measures for California General Election, Nov. 6, 2012
(MUT Note – my preliminary commentary is below; I reserve the right to change my position on any item until I release our formal California Tea Party Recommendations for November, 6 2012)
- Proposition 30 – Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years. Increases sales and use tax by ¼ cent for four years. Allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. Bars use of funds for administrative costs, but provides local school governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how funds are to be spent. Guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments.
(Hell No! There is no such thing as a temporary tax increase — and people should know to reject any item that is “for the children”. California’s citizens have been played for saps far too long. I am looking forward to the threats about providing basic public safety services, too!)
- Proposition 31 -Establishes two-year state budget cycle.
Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified. Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act.
(Unsure! I doubt the boobs in Sacramento will be any more effective doing a budget every 2 years instead of the annual one they are suppose to produce. However, if we wisely elect a Scott Walker type as our Governor, especially after the Golden State is devalued to Bronze, then unilateral budget trimming and prohibiting the fiscal drunks at the bar from order more special interest programs seems like a great idea.)
- Proposition 32 – Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction.Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.
(YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! End the reign of union fiscal tyranny)!
- Proposition 33 Changes current law to permit insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company.
Allows insurance companies to give proportional discounts to drivers with some prior insurance coverage.
(A very likely yes: The Goddess of Capitalism always approves of permitting businesses to decide whom to do business with and at what price-point).
- Proposition 34 – Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
Applies retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. Requires persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them. Creates $100 million fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net savings to the state and counties that could amount to the high tens of millions of dollars annually on a statewide basis due to the elimination of the death penalty. One-time state costs totaling $100 million from 2012-13 through 2015-16 to provide funding to local law enforcement agencies.
(No. In my view, some crimes are so heinous as to warrant death as the best form of justice that humans can dish out. Also, where in the hell do the braniacs in Sacramento think that the $100 million dollar fund is going to come from? Have they discovered a fairy dust factory somewhere in this state? My object in legislation related to the death penalty would be how to expedite the process so the citizens of this good state don’t have to pay for their care and comfort longer than necessary)
- Proposition 35 – Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000. Fines collected to be used for victim services and law enforcement. Requires person convicted of trafficking to register as sex offender. Requires sex offenders to provide information regarding Internet access and identities they use in online activities. Prohibits evidence that victim engaged in sexual conduct from being used against victim in court proceedings. Requires human trafficking training for police officers. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential one-time local government costs of up to a few million dollars on a statewide basis, and lesser additional costs incurred each year, due to the new mandatory training requirements for certain law enforcement officers. Minor increase to state and local governments on the costs of incarcerating and supervising human trafficking offenders. Unknown amount of additional revenue from new criminal fees, likely not to exceed the low millions of dollars annually, which would fund services for human trafficking victims.
(No. Yes, human traffickers are Satan’s minions and probably deserve the death penalty that a previous proposition is trying to end. My main problem is foisting millions of dollars on local communities to implement the program. The amount is probably an under-estimate, and local governments are going bankrupt all across California. We cannot afford it. I hope my fellow citizens use some fiscal logic, instead of their emotions, when making proposition choices)
- Proposition 36 – Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders.
Revises three strikes law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. Authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if third strike conviction was not serious or violent and judge determines sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety. Continues to impose life sentence penalty if third strike conviction was for certain non-serious, non-violent sex or drug offenses or involved firearm possession. Maintains life sentence penalty for felons with non-serious, non-violent third strike if prior convictions were for rape, murder, or child molestation.
(A likely no: Why amend one of the few law enforcement programs that work?)
- Proposition 37 – Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling.
Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits labeling or advertising such food as “natural.”
(No: Agriculture has been nothing but a series of people genetically modifying plants and animals (look at the origins and development of fruit such as California’s naval oranges and Kobe beef.), Scaring people away from products that may be potentially more cost effective of have a health benefit (see golden rice) gets a big thumbs down from the Goddess of Capitalism) )
- Proposition 38 – Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
Increases personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from .4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, ending after twelve years. During first four years, 60% of revenues go to K-12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K-12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs.
(Hell NO! Punishing wealth creators while creating more progressive indoctrination centers for young children is not a great idea).
- Proposition 39 – Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. I
Requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. Repeals existing law giving multistate businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California. Dedicates $550 million annually for five years from anticipated increase in revenue for the purpose of funding projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Approximately $500 million in additional state General Fund revenues in 2012-13 and $1 billion each year thereafter from requiring a single sales factor formula for corporate taxes, with about half of the additional annual revenues from 2013-14 through 2017-18 supporting energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. Increased Proposition 98 minimum funding guarantee for K-14 schools of roughly $225 million annually from 2012-13 through 2017-18 and by roughly $500 million each year thereafter, as a result of additional state General Fund revenues.
(NO! Wow – can a proposition possibly be more full of fail ? More taxes, more bureaucracy, and green energy projects. See Solyndra, and pass this loser up.)
- Proposition 40 – Redistricting. State Senate Districts.
State Senate districts are revised every ten years following the federal census. This year, the voter-approved California Citizens Redistricting Commission revised the boundaries of the 40 Senate districts. This referendum petition, if signed by the required number of registered voters and filed with the Secretary of State, will: (1) Place the revised State Senate boundaries on the ballot and prevent them from taking effect unless approved by the voters at the next statewide election; and (2) Require court-appointed officials to set interim boundaries for use in the next statewide election.
(A tepid yes. It is hard for me to believe any redistricting scheme won’t be used to protect the power of the political elite of both parties. But I so WANT to BELIEVE).
Interestingly, Silvio wants to talk some about AB32 – California’s senseless Global Warming Solutions Act that SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition and the California Tea Party valiantly tried to suspend in 2010. Sadly, we lost – but we did manage to get 40% of the vote despite being wildly outspent. Dean is an expert on out High Speet Rail econo-disaster. It seems our Governor has managed to blend the two financially ruinous plans into one big union-supporting, budget-busting scheme: Latest Hare-Brained Scheme: Use Cap-n-Trade Loot to Pay for High-Speed Rail
I’ve been waiting for years to see what Sacramento did with the billions of dollars in cap-and-trade fees that will roll in if AB 32 is allowed to proceed even though its original rationale is now preposterous and demonstrably false. (No, it didn’t inspire the rest of the world to copy California by forcing residents to accept a broad switch to cleaner but costlier energy.)
I remember a discussion with former Schwarzenegger adviser David Crane and other fans of AB 32 about the fact that higher energy costs are going to be much harder on poor people than the middle class or rich. I was told, no, the cap-and-trade fees would be used to insulate them from the economic pain caused by the regressive effects of higher energy costs.
And I snickered. Yeah, sure, that’s who is going to benefit. Yeah, sure.
I always assumed cap-and-trade billions would be diverted to government employees’ compensation instead of to poor people. Now, hilariously enough, the governor wants the billions to go for a boondoggle transportation project of the sort favored by wealthy suburbanites and rail cultists.
Finally, in light of Obama’s “You Didn’t Build It” fiasco, Silvo posted this insight in “The American Thinker”: Does Pres. B.O. understand that “twin plants” have created prosperity on the U.S.-Mexico border?
For example, there are hundreds of these operations in El Paso-Cd. Juarez and San Diego-Tijuana. Just ask all of those Dems in South Texas about the economic impact of these twin plants! I guess that most of these South Texas Democrats must be appalled at Obama’s incredible lack of knowledge about what makes the border economy work.
These twin plants have been supported by both governments and represent a good example of Mexico and the U.S. working together with mutual benefits. The plants have done a lot to keep Mexicans in Mexico rather than crossing the border to look for opportunities. Finally, these plants have fostered high-quality universities and schools in Mexico to supply the engineering and managerial needs of these facilities south of the border.
To answer Silvio’s question:
UPDATE: Word Warrior has another installment of “Age of Arthur” up. It is an excellent review of the transition in Great Britain between Roman Rule and the Medieval Era — good reading and tons of great graphics. If you love history, check it out!
He also has: DESPITE BEING “NUKED” ROMNEY JUST GROWS STRONGER!
Shrine Friends and Heroes
Finally, Anna’s Clue Tank offers MUT’s POST OF THE WEEK: ARMOURED WOMEN!
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