Thursday, March 29, 2018

If Taxpayers Can't Challenge Taxes, Who Can?

CACR15, "relating to legal actions. Providing that taxpayers have standing to bring actions against the government," before the NH Senate Rules and Enrolled Bills Committee, 3/29/2018, followed by the Committee's ultimately unconsummated Executive Session.

The only testimony nominally against the bill -- yet they're taking no official position -- comes from the Judicial Branch, which essentially "helpfully" warns (except without the "strike me down first" part)...



No one takes them seriously, at least.

So I ask again, if voting-eligible taxpayers, in government's self-written, very self-serving rulebook, may not hold their own servant government's spending accountable, who will? If taxpayers don't have "standing," don't "have skin in the game" -- by definition -- who the hell does...?

Look for this coming soon to a ballot near you. Tell your Senator you expect no less.



Your Right To Live Free

Close your eyes and take a deep sniff of this. Give it a swirl. Fill your olfactory. Its nose tells you this is well aged. Hints of liberty and expressly limited servant government. Peer through it in the strong light of day and examine its clarity. And plenty of legs, this. Now take a sip. Let it roll around on your palate. Full-bodied, to be sure. History in a glass. Solemn sincerity with just a touch of insouciance. And a rebellious finish. This belongs in any respectable Constitutional cellar. Contemplate the possibilities.

This is CACR16, "Relating to privacy. Providing that an individual's right to live free of governmental intrusion is natural, essential, and inherent." Fundamental, even, in a free society. Having cleared the NH House (a little surprisingly, really -- more on that anon), today before the Senate Rules and Enrolled Bills Committee, 3/29/2018.

It should be noted -- and the ever-bewildering Rep Horrigan should appreciate -- that he voluntarily contractually consented (and if it's not in there, then sue) to his Facebook dossier. And it is not -- ever -- government's responsibility nor prerogative to protect him from what he or it consider to be his own bad choices.

And I just gotta say again, although I've agreed with the League of Women Voters' analysis of the bill since I first became aware of it, while the potential implications concern them, I absolutely revel in the possibilities...

Look for it coming soon to a ballot near you. Tell your Senator you expect no less.

Press





Wednesday, March 28, 2018

It's a Block(chain) Party...!

Blockchain in the Energy Sector: Can Government Be Educated?
State House presentation on blockchain in the energy sector

Tuesday, March 27 at 1 PM - 2:30 PM
Science, Technology & Energy Committee, LOB Room 304

Should it need to be in a free society, in a market economy?

The high cost of energy in NH is a statewide issue that negatively effects the business climate and economy. Our regional energy grid is arcane and centralized, being governed by ISO New England in Massachusetts. This presentation will explore the potential to transform the grid into one in which many more participants become consumers, storage providers, and producers of energy, with accounts settled using blockchain technology in a more decentralized fashion.

The presentation will be for the benefit of the committee but the public is welcome to attend.

Presenters will be:
Sandra Ro of Global Blockchain Business Council
Dr. Lee Brenner
 of Global Blockchain Business Council 
Daniel Heller, CFO of BitLumens, Switzerland
James Eggleston of PowerLedger, Australia

Intro by House Science, Technology and Energy Committee chair, Dick Barry.

(Originally Scheduled Presenters had been:
Sandra Ro of Global Blockchain Business Council
Michael Casey of MIT Media Lab, author of The Truth Machine
James Eggleston of PowerLedger, Australia
Veronica Garcia of BitLumens, Switzerland)

And, too, explore The Math Behind Bitcoin with Dr. Darren Tapp.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Here's What Passes for "Representative Government" in Weare

Here's some background:
'Course, the subsequently revised default budget was lowered by the Select Board from $5,997,749 only to $5,997,260, with other crap defiantly added back in. Not quite the court-ordered $60k reduction. Not quite contrite...

This recalcitrant board will get the money that it wants from the taxpayers. Screw you meddlers...

And here's the result, at the subsequent Select Board meeting of 3/5/2018 (also at 39:20 - 41:45 of the full meeting available here): 'Thanks for your input. Now piss off...'




You're paying for these shenanigans -- and yes, I call shenanigans -- Mr. and Ms Taxpayer. And needless to say, this is hardly the first time: expensive lawsuits to control servants aren't financed on a whim, after all. Thank you, Rep. Neal Kurk (longtime House Finance Committee Chairman, if knowledge of government finances and their statutes are, y'know, relevant, somehow), for the effort. One way or another, this can't be over. These incumbents simply have got to go, "leaders" and longest-tenured first. Consistently. First pass next Tuesday...

And here, at the "Meet the Candidates Night", Select Board Chair Clow's answer to a voter's early question on this very aspect of the default budget at the 9-minute mark (through 17:00) -- and then the 2nd (at 23:00, and which he protested to the Moderator) -- was truly... utterly classic Clow, who has got to go....





Next issue: Article 23 of the 2018 Weare Town Warrant (today as I amend this, 3/13/2018, is voting day, btw)

As Proposed
"Shall the Town vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to dispose of all tax deeded property by public auction or sealed bid, regardless of its size? The authority granted in 1994 limited the selectmen’s authority to sell tax deeded property to properties of less than 5 acres (land only) or 10 acres (if developed with a residence). (Recommended by Board of Selectmen)"
(their intention being to free up the board to dispose of any damned thing they seize without any further nettlesome taxpayer oversight -- ever)


As Amended by Voters at the Deliberative Session of 2/10/2018
"Shall the Town vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to dispose of all tax deeded property by public auction or sealed bid, regardless of its size? The authority granted in 1994 limited the selectmen’s authority to sell tax deeded property to properties of less than 5 acres (land only) or 10 acres (if developed with a residence). (Recommended by Board of Selectmen)"
(the result of this amended article, pass or fail, would be to leave them with exactly the same authority they already had -- which is, if they have any bigger properties, they have to come to the voters for permission; at present, they have only 2 such properties, so it's not actually a problem that needs "fixing", they just chafe at oversight -- or... could there actually be something even more nefarious to it...?)


(this timestamp skips the early debate and goes straight to this [2nd of the afternoon] proposed [this by your humble chronicler] amendment -- and a "struck" official paper copy of the warrant is what I handed them, so the above text is exactly what they were looking at when they modified the ballot, no excuses -- and however otherwise unclear, Moderator Foss says, "struck through the word properties", so he understood, so how the hell do we end up with...)


As Published on the Ballot for 3/13/2018
"Shall the Town vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to dispose of all tax deeded property by public auction or sealed bid, regardless of its size? The authority granted in 1994 limited the selectmen’s authority to sell tax deeded property to properties of less than 5 acres (land only) or 10 acres (if developed with a residence). (Recommended by Board of Selectmen)"

So a dependent clause ("regardless of its size") that doesn't functionally change the meaning of the original article because it's still implied ("of all tax deeded property") has been removed (as instructed by the voters), but leaving no limit on board authority (as desired by the board) by also again removing the 1994 limit that was intentionally returned to the article question at the Deliberative Session, thereby neutering it. The last sentence is now again merely an historical explanatory note, rather than reintegrated into the question as an ongoing restriction. And just like the original article, it still implies to the voter in the voting booth that the purpose of this question is to remove that limit.

Last point: Why would the Selectmen still recommend this if it doesn't actually do anything, if it doesn't give them what they want?

Are my grammar skills that lacking? Is this deliberate? Is this another lawsuit necessary for taxpayers to control their servants? Have you voted against Chairman Clow yet...?

This recalcitrant board will get the power that it wants from the taxpayers. Screw you meddlers...



Followup at the next Select Board meeting of 3/19/2018...

My response to the complaint that at the Deliberative Session, the Board gets too many 'proposed amendment' notes scrawled on a napkin should have simply been, "Was that the cause of confusion for this article?" No. No, it wasn't...



Assurances are great. I guess we'll just have to see if they survive elections -- and how many...