By Elisha Dorfsmith
As Arizona’s next legislative session nears, we’re learning about some of the bills that will be proposed early next year…and many of them are very pro liberty.
I have already discussed a very important bill proposed by LD6 Representative Bob Thorpe calling for much needed Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, which I strongly support.
Today we find a lot of press for another pro liberty bill that would allow Arizona students to grow and eat their own food in public schools. Currently you can grow food at a public school but the moment you cut it with a knife it becomes prepared food and has to be regulated.
This school food bill is receiving bipartisan support and the chances of passage at this early point seem very promising. You can read much more about it here:
Of course, the moment government regulation and power is threatened, there is strong push back from those who want to retain complete control.
Thorpe’s Civil Asset Forfeiture bill is already being attacked by police unions and prosecuting attorneys. Expect the school food bill to also be targeted (remember how Flagstaff’s local food resolution was killed by local control freaks).
It is our duty as Arizonans to let the legislature know that we want these liberty bills passed. I will be posting action alerts with contact information once these and other pro liberty bills are introduced.
Come January we will need hundreds of people sending emails and making phone calls so we can ensure our positions are heard.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
In the “can’t take NO for an answer” category:
Buried in the business section of today’s Arizona Daily Sun is a notice for a May 27th public hearing on a proposed property tax hike for the Coconino Community College District. This news comes on the heels of voters soundly rejecting a CCC property tax hike last year.
While this current proposal is smaller than last year’s rejected tax hike, the message is loud and clear: if voters say no, find a way around them and raise taxes anyway.
It’s also worth pointing out that the proposed hearing will be held in Page where turnout and public comment promises to be very low. Intentional? You tell me. Below is the public notice in its entirety.
Public hearing notice (click to enlarge).
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Over the past couple months I have focused considerably more time on reading than writing. I have covered liberty topics from just about every angle I could think of on my blog and sometimes I feel that my concerns fall on deaf ears. Reading books from authors who express what I have been struggling so hard to say is a refreshing change of pace. Some of these books are best sellers and it is encouraging to be reminded that the message of liberty is being embraced.
Longtime readers of my blog know that much of what I write about is comprised of topics related to education, food freedom and the police state. Today I am happy to highlight and recommend three fantastic books that deal with these issues.
A Government of Wolves by John W. Whitehead examines the ever growing American police state and shows how anyone who thinks outside the box or defies the norm is in danger of facing the heavy hand of the law.
Every American is a potential criminal and our every move must be watched. Meanwhile, in the shadows of the legal system, there lurks a prison industrial complex lobbying lawmakers and raking in billions on the criminalization of just about everything.
I was pleased to see Whitehead cover many of the police state topics discussed on my blog over the years. Mandatory minimum sentences, private prisons, Patriot Act, NDAA, TSA, NSA, raids on raw milk, illegal lemonade stands, you name it.
Equally engaging is all of the references to dystopian books and films including favorites discussed many times on this blog like V For Vendetta, 1984, Brave New World, Minority Report, They Live and Farhenheit 451. We are becoming the very society that these works warned us about and like a frog in boiling water, most of us don’t even realize it.
A Government Of Wolves is an extremely well researched book that will make an excellent gift for that “I’m not concerned because I have nothing to hide” person in your life. It’s a loud and clear wake up call. I’ll be buying extra copies to give away.
Some people wonder why I spend so much energy and time ranting about food freedom and the right for people to grow food for themselves and their families. If you need a reason, look no further than Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Food Rights by David E. Gumpert.
In this book Gumpert gives example after example of Federal agents raiding food co-ops and small farms, investigating truckers, threatening and intimidating anyone and everyone who looks past their local grocery store for an alternative food source.
Sprinkled within the well documented stories of food police clamping down and trampling our rights are stories of people rising up and fighting back. At what point will we say enough is enough? Perhaps not being allowed to eat or feed our children healthy food will be the last straw.
One reviewer on Amazon asked why the small food industry is such a big threat to the government. I believe we can find that answer if we follow the money. Corporate food companies are buying politicians and using the FDA and other militarized agencies to enforce their goals and eliminate all competition.
Are you angry yet?
As someone who was homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school and as a homeschooling father, I was happy to see Ron Paul write a book about homeschooling and the state of education in America.
In the early 80s homeschooling was banned in most states. My parents were pretty much homeschooling pioneers in the little town of Big Bear, California where I grew up. During the first few years nobody in my town was aware that homeschooling was even an option. One person told my parents that keeping their kids out of public school was a form of child abuse.
For a while Big Bear had a truant officer who got a lot of enjoyment out of harassing homeschooling families. I remember friends being turned in by their neighbors and receiving a visit from the authorities. Even with all the proper paperwork filed, parents were continually threatened with fines or jail time. Some families were afraid to let their kids have recess outside.
We’ve come a long way since then. Homeschooling has become a mainstream alternative to the public education system. Even public schools are embracing certain aspects of homeschooling. The myths about homeschoolers not being able to survive in the real world have been proven false.
In The School Revolution Ron Paul promotes his new home school curriculum, gives a shout out to Khan Academy, explores free market solutions to educational challenges and talks about the importance of leaving a legacy. An important and enjoyable read for parents and non-parents alike.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Thanks to Joe Harting for inviting me to co-host the Joe Harting Show on The Big Talker 105.1 FM this week. We touched on a lot of issues from a liberty perspective from the local to the national level. You can watch the entire show below.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Last week was a big week for media appearances by Flagstaff Liberty Alliance members and supporters. The requests for interviews and guest host opportunities have come from all over in recent weeks and we’re very excited to have the chance to get our message out to a wider audience.
On September 17, Travis Estes of Flagstaff Liberty Alliance joined Ryan Oler and Jeff Oravits on Flag Mornings (93.5 FM) to discuss a variety of topics from a liberty perspective including our food freedom resolution, the Flagstaff Regional Plan and war with Syria.
Travis was also able to debate HB2305 and third party ballot access with Arizona State Representative Bob Thorpe who voted for the bill.
On September 18 I was invited to the NAZ Today studio to discuss local opposition to war with Syria and how people can get involved and promote non-interventionism. I was joined by Paul Lenze from the Politics & International Affairs department at NAU. Video of this discussion should be available soon.
The Joe Harting Show
Thanks to local activist Don Peavey for giving a shout out to Flagstaff Liberty Alliance while co-hosting the Joe Harting Show on the Big Talker on September 20. Don also promoted our food freedom resolution and asked people to look into it and support it.
Our food freedom fesolution should be revisited again by the Flagstaff City Council in early October (probably October 8). I’ll post more about that once I have a date confirmed.
Subscribe To The Flag Liberty Youtube Channel
Flagstaff Liberty Alliance plans to start activly uploading videos on liberty topics to the Flag Liberty Youtube channel. Please consider subscribing to the channel and sharing the videos to help us reach the maximum amount of people possible. Educating and informing the public is our biggest priority and we need your help to get the word out. You can find the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance Youtube channel here:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
“Evidently Republican leadership knows they can’t compete in the marketplace of ideas, so they resort to cheating. Did they really think their attempts to hijack Arizona’s elections by controlling who would be on the ballot to represent Arizona would be unnoticed?” —Barry Hess, Arizona Libertarian Party
This afternoon a press conference was held by members of the HB2305 referendum effort’s Protect Your Right To Vote Committee (I have talked about this effort many times on my blog). One of the speakers at the event was Barry Hess of the Arizona Libertarian Party who made a statement that Republicans in Arizona have succeeded in uniting every other political group in the state against them by pushing HB2305 through the legislature.
Hess is correct in his assertion. Libertarians, Greens, Independents, Democrats and honest Republicans all joined together to collect signatures for the effort. Republicans who thought they could slip this bill in under the cover of night without consequences have made a gross miscalculation and the people have risen up against them.
Today over 146,000 HB2305 referendum signatures were turned in…well above what was required! Organizers needed a little over 86,000 valid signatures to qualify for ballot access. The extremely high number of signatures turned in guarantees that you WILL be able to vote on the bill on election day.
This is wonderful news and I am confident that Arizona voters will overwhelmingly vote to put an end to this sneaky attempt by Republicans to destroy third parties and limit voter choice.
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen!
Some of the boxes of HB2305 referendum petitions turned in today (click to enlarge)
Anti Gun Legislators Recalled In Colorado
Two anti gun legislators were recalled in Colorado yesterday as voters sent a strong statement to their state and the rest of the Country that excessive gun restrictions will not be tolerated. This is just a first step and many pro gun groups are working behind the scenes to repeal some of the anti gun laws that were passed by the Colorado legislature.
(Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson)
On a side note, Arizona’s HB2305 also made it harder for people to recall elected state officials. Just another reason to oppose the bill. As Colorado has shown, there are times when a recall is necessary and Arizonans need to retain that option for when it’s needed.
Equal Marriage Arizona Ends Petition Drive
Former Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson was also Honorary Chair for Equal Marriage Arizona, a group of Log Cabin Republicans and Libertarians who were working to put same sex marriage on the Arizona ballot in 2014.
The group expected serious opposition from social conservatives but instead found their fiercest opposition to be from State and National gay rights groups. Any gay rights group that endorsed Equal Marriage early on was pressured and even bullied by larger gay rights groups to pull their support and withdraw their endorsements.
The gay rights groups could never offer a consistent reason for their opposition to Equal Marriage Arizona. They argued that the timing was wrong, the organizers couldn’t be trusted, the language was wrong (it protected Churches), etc.
As someone with some knowledge of what went on behind the scenes, my feeling is that most gay rights groups were opposed to Equal Marriage Arizona simply because it was being led by Republicans and Libertarians. They were very upset that Democrats would not get the credit if it passed.
Whatever the true reason for the opposition, Equal Marriage Arizona is dead for now…
UPDATE: Thanks to Reason Magazine for adding my thoughts to their article on this topic today:
Flagstaff Pride admits they helped kill the ballot measure because they didn’t trust the Log Cabin Republicans and Libertarians who created the initiative (click to enlarge)
Coconino Community College Tax Override
Later this year, Coconino Community College will be asking voters to approve a property tax override that will add $50 to the average homeowner’s tax bill. Even if the override passes, tuition for CCC students could still be increased.
Last night former Flagstaff Mayor Joe Donaldson told the Flagstaff City Council that he endorses the property tax hike. Organizations and individuals across Flagstaff will soon be lining up to follow in Donaldson’s footsteps.
As the campaign heats up, those of us who plan to vote NO can expect to be harassed and called names for “not supporting public education”.
For the record, I do support education. I just don’t support property taxes. Period. I will always vote NO.
Flagstaff Regional Plan Update
At last night’s Flagstaff City Council Work Session, Mayor Nabours and Councilmembers Brewster and Oravits expressed deep concerns about wording in the Regional Plan document. On one hand they are being told that the regional plan is a “suggestion” and a “guide” and on the other hand the document is filled with words like “policy” and “shall” and “will”.
Staff tried to tell Council that “policy” does not mean law, “shall” does not mean shall, and “will” does not mean will. At the end of the discussion Councilmember Overton said he agreed with staff and does not want to see the word “policy” removed from the document. He said he appreciates the document and thinks it’s a good document. Then he went on to say that discussing the document in detail and taking more public input was hurting the process. He suggested that some council members were using public comment to derail the plan.
Alright Councilmember Overton. If my opinion does not count and the opinions of other Flagstaff residents do not count and if you are too lazy to go through the document and fix the many contradictions and flaws, then Flagstaff residents know exactly what to do when you are up for re-election next year. I expect a lot of your former supporters to keep that “Overton” box on their ballot blank.
Here’s a recent article I wrote expressing my concerns about the Flagstaff Regional Plan:
March Against Monsanto Take Two
On October 12, 2013 food freedom activists across the world will once again join together to protest Monsanto and the push by companies and governments to control the world’s food.
Flagstaff will be holding our protest in front of Flagstaff City Hall starting at 2:00 pm. Bring your signs and invite your friends! Let’s pack the City Hall lawn.
It’s time to:
Support Food Freedom!
Protect Our Food Supply!
Support local gardens and farms!
Expose the cronyism between big business and government!
Say NO to Monsanto!
You can join the facebook event here:
Monsanto protestors at Flagstaff City Hall.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The above recording by FUSD Assistant Superintendent Bob Kuhn just went out to everyone with a child enrolled in the district.
Kuhn says in no uncertain terms that all children MUST get their immunizations before they can start school. This is simply not true and FUSD is counting on ignorant parents to blindly follow their command.
The Flagstaff Unified School District is very aware (I have told them multiple times and so have many others) that Arizona Parents can opt out of any and all immunizations for any reason by simply filling out a form and turning it in to their child’s school.
You can find the form here:
If they’ll lie about this what else are they lying to you about? Can you trust the public education system?
For further reading see: