By Elisha Dorfsmith
Several weeks ago I posed the following question to my readers:
As I reported in that article, I was involved in a somewhat heated debate with several gullible Gosar apologists in the Flagstaff tea party who insisted that Gosar would vote against the Patriot Act when it came up in May. According to them, Gosar simply needed to learn more about it and once he knew the details he would realize that it clearly violated our Fourth Amendment rights.
Many other tea party members were much wiser and didn’t want to take the wait and see approach. They were anxious to see if it was possible to start a movement to recall the congressman.
Well, the moment of truth has arrived! The vote was today and Gosar did in fact vote to extend the Patriot Act.
Obviously, I’m not surprised but I am extremely disappointed and disgusted with Congressman Gosar. Over the past week I posted several articles on his facebook page explaining why the Patriot Act is unconstitutional. He deleted every single one of them without responding. I have talked to many other district 1 residents who said they also contacted Gosar and asked him to vote NO and never even received a form letter in return.
To add insult to injury (and to show just how out of touch Washington is with reality), Congressman Gosar recently received a Constituent Communication Award. I about fell out of my chair laughing when I read that.
Fortunately, we do have some members of Congress who love freedom and liberty.
Congressman Justin Amash (MI-03) posted the following on his Facebook page:
“Just voted no on a motion to concur in the Senate Amend’t to the House Amend’t to S 990, Small Business Add’l Temporary Extension Act. The Senate Amend’t attaches the extension of the PATRIOT Act. It appears the SBA portion, which extends certain central-planning programs, was removed at the last minute. The PATRIOT Act again received no real debate before being extended. It passed 250-153.
A bad day for liberty.”
Yes, a very bad day for liberty and we have the establishment of both parties to thank for it. I certainly hope a candidate who understands the Constitution will step up and run against Congressman Gosar in the Republican primary. We cannot afford to elect a traitor who tramples the rights of the American people to a second term.
Fourth Amendment champion Rand Paul responds to baseless attacks by Senate majority leader Harry Reid:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
FUSD board members took steps at their May 24, 2011 meeting to amend the language of a proposed new anti bullying policy which seeks to define exactly what bullying is.
Board members showed signs that they are starting to visualize the giant can of worms they are opening by creating a clear definition of bullying. During tonight’s reading of the amended definition, several board members concluded that the policy needed more clarification.
Mr. Bavasi expressed concern that a child could say something that a teacher might view as negative but other students would have no problem with. Ms. Biggerstaff wondered if blowing a kiss could be perceived as a punishable gesture.
It seems the definition is too broad and too specific at the same time. On one hand students could be punished for innocent behavior due to vague wording and on the other hand students who bully in ways that do not fit the definition could avoid punishment.
I have expressed some of those same concerns in past blogs:
The following comment was posted on one of my previous articles:
“Any explicit definition of bullying is going to expose the transgressions of the authorities…”
I completely agree. I have a feeling district lawyers will be very busy in the coming years.
In addition to the anti bullying policy and the usual doom and gloom budget discussion, other highlights from the May 24 meeting include:
An impressive student presentation from Thomas Elementary students who discussed and demonstrated how they use i Pads in the classroom. Thomas is taking part in a pilot project which utilizes technology in the classroom. Technology is the future and if American schools are going to be competitive they must take steps in this direction.
Approval of 606 certified contracts.
A decision not to issue RIF notices due to 70+ resignations.
All votes were unanimous. Mr. Vasquez was absent.
Tonight’s full agenda can be found HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
A couple weeks ago, several local taxpayers who attended the recent City budget meetings told me that they were shocked to discover that the City Of Flagstaff was increasing their donation to United Way. The City is now pushing the total annual contribution close to $300,000.
When I brought this up on my facebook page I was instantly attacked by a local activist who insisted that this money comes from Federal grants and that we should encourage this because it’s not taxpayer money. I had my doubts but even if it was Federal grant money I would have an issue with it.
I tracked down a copy of the 2011 budget and found a list of private charities that the City Of Flagstaff donates to. Just as I expected, the list included the glaringly obvious:
“Source Of Funding: General Fund.”
It couldn’t be any clearer. This is 100% local tax dollars and anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or lying.
For those wondering which charities our tax dollars go to, here’s what the 2011 budget says:
“Contributions are as follows: United Way $270,000; Humane Society $163,625; Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership $19,925; FACTS $249,819; Weed & Seed $5,563; Youth Coalition $19,869; NACOG Rural Transportation $4,202, Intake Triage $75,000, Cardinals $31,264; Rural Policy Institute $25,000; Victim Witness $41,724; NACASA $15,787; Sister Cities $2,805; and carryover of Emergency Housing Funds $20,000.”
A discussion about taxes and charity was started on a friend’s facebook page and I posted the following:
“If I want to give to charity I will give to charity. I don’t need government to FORCE me through taxes to give. Do we really need government to tell us which charity to give to and how much?”
I guess my comment really irritated Mayor Sara Presler who responded:
“Elisha, you are not forced. You choose to live here and comply with our tax code.”
Several people told me that they were shocked at her arrogance. Seriously, compliance is our only option? What if I choose to live here and work to change the tax code? Are we not allowed to complain or fight to fix things anymore?
Presler’s comment reminded me of the shallow argument I often hear from the right when I complain about the endless wars and empire. If you don’t love America and the good we do around the world…LEAVE.
I assure defenders of the status quo on both the right and left that I have no plans to go anywhere. I will continue to step up my efforts to promote freedom and liberty and smaller government every chance I get.
Flagstaff desperately needs leaders who do not believe the job of government is to hold our hand wherever we go. We certainly don’t need government taxing us and giving that money to the charity of their choice.
Slightly off topic, I would like to take a moment and thank the surprising number of people who have contacted me and asked if I would consider running for local office. I sincerely appreciate your faith in me and all the kind words.
While I would never say never and completely rule out a run, I currently feel very passionate about encouraging and being part of the alternative media in Flagstaff. That’s where I plan to focus my energy in the coming months.
As I have said in past blogs, I am very excited to hear that Jeff Oravits is going to run. I hope you will check out his website and consider supporting him.
We have to elect candidates who understand freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility. Time to break free from the nanny mentality.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
“For immediate release:
Earlier today I formed the Jeff4Flagstaff Exploratory Committee. City Hall’s mismanagement of our tax dollars and their anti-business, anti-growth policies have stifled our economy. Over the coming months I will be examining City Hall’s budget, departments, staffing and policies. We need people in City Council that have an understanding of business and economics. Our quality of life is depending on it! I feel there are problems at Flagstaff City Hall that need to be addressed. As a long-time resident of Flagstaff and small business owner, I can no longer sit back and watch as City Council and City Staff create policy after policy that negatively affects Flagstaff’s economy. I can no longer sit back and assume that City Hall and our Council are making the best decisions for our future. The time for action is now!”
Seeing that Jeff has decided to take steps to run for City Council is great news. He has my enthusiastic support.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
As I attend more and more tea party rallies, conservative events, and Republican meetings (yes, I am holding my nose and registering as a Republican so I can vote for Ron Paul in the primary) I keep hearing the same old question “why can’t we get the youth involved.”
I have tried addressing this several times in the past and felt like I was talking to a brick wall. I may have to be a little more blunt this time. If you want the youth involved you have to put your religious and big government political agendas aside and talk about liberty and allowing people to be free to live their lives the way they choose (not the way you choose for them).
The philosophy of liberty brings people together who may disagree on everything except the idea that they should have a right to conduct their life however they want as long as they are not hurting others or damaging someone’s property.
There is a common held belief that the youth are not interested in politics or their future and have no interest in taking a stand. I couldn’t disagree more. While there is some truth to the idea that college age students are the hardest group to mobilize, I have seen first hand that it can be done. If your message is true freedom and liberty you will unite and motivate people of all ages and political ideologies.
The other night I attended a political meeting and almost immediately the conversation turned to promoting “Judeo Christian values” through government. One of those in attendance spoke up and said that he almost felt that he was at the wrong meeting. He was looking for smaller government. I felt the exact same way. If I wasn’t working on a big picture project at the time I would have left early. Ironically, a few minutes after the talk about legislating morality ended, the big question came up again: “why can’t we get the youth involved.” I felt like jumping up and down and screaming the answer.
I am not suggesting that anyone compromises their religious or moral values. The beauty of living in a free country is the freedom to believe whatever you want. My point is this: If you try to push your values on others through the force of government you push the young people away, you push me away, and you push everyone else who believes in true freedom and liberty away.
The choice is yours.
Nothing is more frustrating than listing to people talk about pushing Christianity on others through the force of law.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
As many of us Ron Paul supporters anticipated, Republican Congressman Ron Paul officially announced his candidacy for president today on Good Morning America.
If the early interest in Paul’s campaign is any indication, Flagstaff is going to have an incredible grassroots organization full of dedicated volunteers. My phone has been ringing non-stop over the past few days with people asking how they can get involved and how they can get bumper stickers and campaign literature. Want to get involved? Here’s how you can help out:
Join The Official Website
The official Ron Paul 2012 website is up and I encourage everyone to register there to keep up to date on events and developments. You may also want to consider joining the official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Put A Bumper Sticker On Your Car
Our goal is to have a Ron Paul 2012 bumper sticker on the car of every Ron Paul supporter in Northern Arizona. My wife and I recently picked up a bunch of Ron Paul 2012 stickers and are giving them away to supporters in the Flagstaff area. We will have them with us at all the events we attend so please let us know if you would like some. If you can’t make it to the events and would still like one, please send me an email with your mailing address and I will drop one in the mail or deliver it to you. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join The Flagstaff Ron Paul 2012 Facebook Page
During the 2008 election we organized through meetup.com which worked great. Unfortunately, meetup was too expensive to keep up so we decided to go the Facebook route this time. Please join the Flagstaff Ron Paul 2012 facebook page for updates and opportunities to get involved.
Attend The Flagstaff Ron Paul 2012 Grassroots Campaign Kickoff
Consider attending our Ron Paul 2012 kickoff party at Foxglenn Park on May 22 from 1:00-2:30. We will be brainstorming and sharing ideas, giving away Ron Paul 2012 bumper stickers and going over campaigning basics. Snacks will be provided.
Stock Up On Campaign Materials
There are a lot of great places online to pick up Ron Paul 2012 campaign materials. So far I have been buying my stuff through www.RonPaulProducts.com. They offer quality merchendise at a decent price. If you have a favorite location where you get your Ron Paul materials, please post a link in the comments section of my blog. The more choices the better.
UPDATE: This post has been getting a huge amount of traffic from people searching for Ron Paul 2012 literature. We’ve been handing out these:
Stay Tuned For Updates
Stay tuned (and consider subscribing) to the Flag Liberty blog for updates. The Revolution continues!
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The Flagstaff Unified School District governing board voted unanimously to approve an increase in “pay to participate” fees for sports and athletic programs at their May 10th meeting. Individual students currently pay $75 and will now be asked to pay $125 per year. Families currently pay $130 and will now pay $180 per year.
There was a lot of discussion among board members who were concerned that some students would be discouraged from taking part in these programs if the fees were raised. Assistant superintendent Kuhn reminded the board that many students do not pay and are still allowed to participate. It was noted that scholarships are available to help students who cannot pay.
Superintendent Hickman asked for research showing exactly how many children are taking advantage of the programs at no cost. She explained that the money does not come from scholarships. The district subsidizes these students and is picking up the cost…the funding comes out of the M & O budget. Mr Kuhn said he would get that information to her.
The full May 10th agenda can be found HERE.
All action items were approved unanimously.
During the discussion of the FY2012 budget, Budget & Finance Director Ken Garland reiterated once again that property taxes will go up again in 2012, partly because our property values are still higher than the rest of the state. He estimated that a home valued at $200,000 will see an increase of about $86 for a total of $1,022 in district taxes.
For those who may have missed it, FUSD board president Paul Kulpinski has officially thrown his hat in the ring to run for Flagstaff Mayor. Not sure what he plans to bring to the table but that should be an interesting race to watch.
Stay tuned to the Flag Liberty Blog for full election coverage as the campaign season heats up.