Ted's Tidbits

Election Day 2009 - How I Voted and Why

Today is Election day across the country. Here in Texas, we're not electing any high profile offices like Congressman, Senator, Governor, etc. As a result, I fear most people don't even realize there is an election today. It has been my opinion for some time now that these "smaller" and more local elections are really the more important ones to participate in, because they usually involve issues that closer impact our daily lives.

Today's election is no exception. On the ballot today are 11 proposals for ammendments to the Texas state constitution. These are the result of the most recent legislative session down in Austin this past spring. As my final effort to encourage you to go vote today, I will share how I voted this morning, and why I voted that way.

Proposition 1

  • The constitutional amendment authorizing the financing … of the acqusition … of buffer area … adjacent to a military installation….
  • I voted NO - this could lead to higher taxes and it feels a bit eminent domainy to me.

Proposition 2

  • The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the ad valorem taxation of a residence homestead soley on the basis of the property’s value as a residence homestead.
  • I voted YES - This should prevent counties from using property tax to persuade someone to sell their home so that a mall (or stadium) can be built on that land.

Propositiom 3

  • The constitutional amendment providing for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes.
  • I voted NO - I don’t like giving up local control.

Proposition 4

  • The constitutionl amendment establishing the national research university fund to enable emerging research universities … to achieve national prominence….
  • After waivering back and forth, I voted YES - Texas only has two tier 1 schools (UT and A&M), we could use some more.

Proposition 5

  • The constitutional amendment authorizing … a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities….
  • I voted YES - It sounds like it will help out smaller counties by allowing them to pool their resources.

Proposition 6

  • The constitutional amendment authorizing the Veterans Land Board to issue … bonds….
  • I voted NO because I’m generally against more debt, and there are no time limits and no oversite on this authority.

Proposition 7

  • The constitutional amendment to allow an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard … to hold civil offices.
  • I voted YES - state employes can hold office in other military branches, why not state militia?

Proposition 8

  • The contstitutional amendment authorizing the state to contribute money, property and other resources for the establishment, maintenance and operation of veterans’ hospitals in this state.
  • I voted NO - While I do believe in caring for our veterans, I don’t believe in partnerships with the federal government that can cause us problems down the line.

Proposition 9

  • The constitutional amendment to protect the right of the public … to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • I voted NO - It sounds nice until you realize that as the shore erodes away due to hurricanes and such, the public beaches start extending into private property which would simply be claimed by the state with no compensation. Worse than eminent domain!

Proposition 10

  • The constitutional amendment to provide that elected members of the governing boards of emergency service districts may serve terms not to exceed four years.
  • I voted YES - The limit is currently two years. I’d rather these guys be doing their job than campaining for another term.

Proposition 11

  • The constitutional amendment to prohibit the taking, damaging, or destroying of private property for public use ….
  • I voted YES - This strengthens the ban on taking private property for economic development.

Freedom of Speech OK Unless Talking Politics

Ok, so the guy that created the Hillary Clinton 1984 video that’s on YouTube revealed himeself.  Since he works for a consulting service that the Obama campaign uses, he was promptly fired.  What bothers me most about this is the fact that people are acting like this was the correct thing to do.  The article even speculates whether the Obama campaign did enough to distance itself from this video.

We are a country that’s proud of our freedom of speech.  YouTube is probably one of the best examples of this expression. Anyone with a video camera and an internet connection can send a message to the world.  You can say anything you like, and if everything lines up just right, your video could be seen by millions of people.  That’s power in the hands of individuals. This is what America is supposed to be all about.

But if you post something about a political candidate, people start questioning.

  • Who made this?
  • Who paid for it?
  • How much did it cost?
  • Can they say that?
  • Is this fair?
My question is, why do we restrict the very speech that the first ammendment was written to protect?  It’s not just the culture and the media.  There are laws.  Remember campain finance reform?  529 organizations?  Why should you have to register as a 529 to talk publicly about a political campaign?  Maybe it’s just me, but this whole thing seems hypocritical and, quite frankly, stupid.

Global Warming Debate Heats Up




Hillary is Big Brother

I’m not an Obama fan, but this is clever.


Soviet Russia, Comming to an America Near You

America… What a country! In America, you watch TV. In Soviet Russia, TV watches you!

The MPAA is trying to push a bill through Congress that would require anyone with a home theater to register with them. The home theater equipment will have devices that can determine information about the audience watching and report back to the KGB MPAA.

What makes a home theater? According to the MPAA, a home theater is any home with:

  • A television larger than 29” with stereo sound
  • At least 2 comfortable chairs or a couch or futon
Here’s the magic quote from the article:
“Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn’t give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too. That’s a violation of copyright and denies us the revenue that would be generated from DVD sales to your friends,” said [MPAA head] Glickman. “Ideally we expect each viewer to have their own copy of the DVD, but we realize that isn’t always feasible. The registration fee is a fair compromise.
Pay attention to the government! They obviously don’t trust you, why should you trust them?

Source: http://www.bbspot.com/News/2006/11/home-theater-regulations.html [Mirror]