Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What are the Miami police thinking?

Miami Police Take New Tack Against Terror
Nov 28 9:28 PM US/Eastern

By CURT ANDERSON
Associated Press Writer
MIAMI

Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.

"This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there," Fernandez said.

The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.

Police Chief John Timoney said there was no specific, credible threat of an imminent terror attack in Miami. But he said the city has repeatedly been mentioned in intelligence reports as a potential target.

Timoney also noted that 14 of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 attacks lived in South Florida at various times and that other alleged terror cells have operated in the area.

Both uniformed and plainclothes police will ride buses and trains, while others will conduct longer-term surveillance operations.

"People are definitely going to notice it," Fernandez said. "We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don't want people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our eyes and ears."

Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, said the Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people's rights are not violated.

"What we're dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution," Simon said. "We'll have to see how it is implemented."

Mary Ann Viverette, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said the Miami program is similar to those used for years during the holiday season to deter criminals at busy places such as shopping malls.

"You want to make your presence known and that's a great way to do it," said Viverette, police chief in Gaithersburg, Md. "We want people to feel they can go about their normal course of business, but we want them to be aware."


You have to wonder what the Miami police are doing! Surrounding a bank and forcing everyone to show ID. They think this will stop terrorism?

You have got to be kidding me.

I like and support the police departments all over this fine nation; however, this seems every bit as silly as random seat belt checks.

I have an idea for the police, go and chase criminals. Solve all of the unsolved crimes in your area if you are bored, better yet, go out and serve the MILLIONS of outstanding arrest warrents in this nation...

Or here is another idea, take all of the overtime tax money that we waste on the police department doing random seat belt checks and put all of this money into a fund to build more prisons. Then, after these prisons are built, make it so inmates no longer have to serve ONE HALF of their original sentences!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Assessed values in Northwest Allen County School District

The County Assessor's office has provided me with some information regarding assessed real estate values in The NACS School district from the last several years.

I am not yet ready to comment on them as I have to perform some more research.

I have added a column to see what has happened to the rate changed over the last few years.

I had to convert the data so that we are comparing "apples" to "apples."

The way that property values are assessed has been changed. In the 98/99, 99/00, and 00/01 school years the properties were assessed at 1/3 of market value. So to compensate for this I multiplied the assessed value x 3 and I divided the listed tax rate by 3.

The large jump in the 02/03 year is due to the Statewide Re-assessment.

So after converting the data we have:

Year Net Certified Assessed Value NWACS Tax Rate Actual change to rate

98/99 609,914,310 1.7672% Base year

99/00 656,707,890 1.9419% 9.9% increase

00/01 706,799,505 1.9334% .44% decrease

01/02 772,206,070 1.9861% 2.7% increase

02/03 1,327,467,230 1.2078% 64.4% decrease REASSESSMENT

03/04 1,405,832,860 1.4693% 17.8% increase

04/05 1,518,265,180 1.4726% 2.2% increase

05/06 1,617,393,440 Unknown, Mike is guessing 1.6788%

What this means is the net assessed value in The Northwest Allen County School district has increased by over 165% since the 98/99 school year.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Northwest Allen County Schools Research

I have contacted the County Assessor and I am gathering information on The Northwest Allen County Schools from the last five years.

I am getting the TOTAL assessed value of all taxable real estate within Northwest Allen County Schools for the last five years. This will let me calculate how much the assessed property values in this school district have changed over the last five years. I believe that the assessed values in this school district have increased by a large amount; that is a lot of the reason why I am deadset against NACS jacking up the Property Tax rate all the time.

Friday, November 25, 2005

My first online poll

I have decided to try posting a couple of polls in the next few weeks and see what kind of results I get. The polls will remain on the site for one week. Each person can only vote in the poll one time.

These polls are not scientific, I am just interested in knowing what people think!

Please feel free to pass on these polls to others and to post links to them on your blogs.

My first poll is about the Indiana Time zone issue. I am of the personal opinion that this issue should be decided by the voters and NOT by our politicians. That is just a personal opinion...

For a statewide referendum to be binding we would actually have to change The Indiana Constitution.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I have decided what office I am running for in 2006

I spent some time down at The Allen County Election Board yesterday and I have been researching some of the decisions my School District has made recently. I have decided that I will run for Northwest Allen County School Board in 2006. I cannot file the paperwork to run until January of 2006; but, I have just started planning for the campaign.

My daughter will start Kindergarten in the fall of 2006 at Northwest Allen County Schools. My wife and I plan on living in the house we are currently living in for at least 20 more years and my children (Kayla is currently 4 and Graydon is almost 3) will be attending Northwest Allen County Schools K-12. I am concerned with the direction the school system is going and I have decided to run for School Board.

Earlier this year the School District decided to raise our property taxes by 14% in one year to pay for school expansion. They increased taxes in an area that is rapidly growing and has a rapidly growing tax base. The scary thing is the fact that they stated that "Property Tax payers can expect future increases similar to this in future years."

What an appalling decision. Our schools need to educate our children and our Public School system is in need of change. Spending more money is NOT the answer.

According to The Indiana Department of Education itself, Indiana is now spending MORE then twice as much per child per year (Adjusted for inflation) as we did in 1981. It was almost exactly double last year, it is still going up. There seems to be no end in sight. Our property taxes keep SKYROCKETING and we hear "It is for the children."

That is just not true. As we spend more money the quality of our education has declined. My children are better served if my property taxes are lower so that I can spend more money on my children, not so that the schools can turn around and spend my money for me.

Since 1981 our schools have NOT improved, they have gotten worse. This is proved by every educational statistic I could find that is put out by the government. Every single statistic says that our schools have degraded since 1981...

The only logical conclusion I think people can draw is that spending more money is not the answer; unfortunately, this is NOT the conclusion that Northwest Allen County Schools has drawn.

There are several points that I will run for Northwest Allen County School Board on:
1. Property Taxes should only be increased to compensate for inflation.
2. Respect and Personal Responsibility are what we need in our school system.
We need to change the system so that the following groups of people are held
accountable for our school system:
a. The students themselves have to have some responsibility for their actions.
b. The parents must have some responsibility for their children's performance.
c. The teachers must have some responsibility for their students performance.
d. The school administration must have some responsibility for the overall
performance of their schools.
All of these points are common sense; unfortunately, these actions have not been
taken.
3. We need to look for ways to cut the costs of our educational system in the
Northwest Allen County Schools. We need to audit our books and look at ways we
can save money. The costs of education are too high and need to be reduced.
4. We need to show compassion for property owners and ensure that they are living
in a district with a high quality school system AND that they are paying a
reasonable amount in property taxes; currently, we are paying far more then we
should be in property taxes.
5. We need to ensure that The School Board audits the Schools books and controls
runaway spending.

The people I really feel sorry for are those people (And there are a lot of them in this school district) who feel that their children can be better educated by private schools or home schooled. These parents pay for the public system and they pay for the private system.

Monday, November 21, 2005

What is a Libertarian

Libertarians hold many different views. I am going to do my best to BRIEFLY tell you what a Libertarian beleives in:

1. We believe in a small and less intrusive government.
2. We believe in personal responsibility. We think people must be held
accountable for their own actions.
3. We believe in The Constitution as it was written over two hundred years ago.
4. We believe that individuals should have the freedom to make their own choices
and that the government should not make those choices for you; however, you
should be held accountable for those decisions you make.

I think that many Americans hold these views. Please take the time to learn more about The Allen County Libertarian Party!

Tonight's Libertarian Party of Allen County Meeting

I will see many of you tonight at the November meeting of The Libertarian Party of Allen County. The officials business meeting starts at 8 PM. The meeting will be held at The Munchie Emporium on Dupont Road as normal!

I hope to see you there.

Please bring a friend!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Fort Wayne Small Business Conference

I hope to see you at the Fort Wayne Small Business Conference on Saturday!

The Second Regional Small Business Conference will be held at Don Hall’s Guesthouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana (1313 W. Washington Center Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825, website for Hotel is http://www.donhalls.com/site/guesthouse/default.aspx.) The conference will occur on Saturday November 19th, 2005. Rooms can be rented for $69 a night if you mention that you are affiliated with The Libertarian Party event being held on November 19th.

There will be an informal meeting and dinner on Friday night at Don Hall’s restaurant. We will reserve a large table and each person will pay their own tab. We will meet at 7 PM and spend a couple of hours eating, drinking, and brainstorming.

The conference itself will run from 11 AM until 4 PM on Saturday November 19th. Please make sure you eat before attending the event. The cost for attending the conference is:
If paid in advance $15
Paid at the door $20

Please send payment to (Please make checks payable to Mike Sylvester)
Mike Sylvester
625 Windrift Lane
Fort Wayne, IN 46845

After the Conference there will be an informal get together at the house of Jack and Hillary Evans. Maps and directions will be provided at the Conference. A large (And I do mean LARGE) dinner will be served. Children are welcome to attend! The party at Jack and Hillary’s house will run from 4:30 until? We will collect donations at the door.

Please feel free to contact Mike Sylvester if you have any questions regarding this event. You can reach Mike at 260-338-0833 or at Mike.Sylvester@Verizon.net.

Conference Schedule and Speakers

11-11:10 Mike Sylvester, Welcome all

11:10 – 11:30 Mark Schreiber, will talk about the history of The Small Business Initiative.

11:30 – 12:00 Ron Reinking, CPA. Ron is a Fort Wayne CPA and will discuss some “Small business horror stories.”

12:00 – 12:15 15 minute break. Get to know your neighbors, exchange ideas.

12:15 – 12:45 Mike Sylvester, “Small Business Horror stories” from Indiana CPA’s and small business owners. How we plan on taking advantage of these “Horror Story’s” in Fort Wayne.

12:45 – 13:00 Jason Shelley from The Indiana NFIB will speak. He will discuss the importance of Small Business and he will explain the topics he feels are currently most critical to small business owners in Indiana.

13:00 – 13:15 15 minute break. Get to know your neighbors, exchange ideas.

13:15 – 14:15 Break into two groups and brainstorm ideas for the Small Business Initiative.
Kevin Knedler will handle one group.
Mike Sylvester will handle the second group.

14:15 – 14:30 15 minute break. Get to know your neighbors, exchange ideas.

14:30 – 14:45 Kevin Knedler of first group will discuss ideas with everyone. This could be done with crowd interaction.

14:45 – 15:00 Mike Sylvester of the second group will discuss ideas with everyone. This could be done with crowd interaction.

15:00 – 15:15 Mike Kole will talk about his campaign for Indiana Secretary of State AND Small Business Initiative examples he has used in his campaign and in Hamilton County.

15:15 – 15:30 Mark Rutherford, will ask if the representatives from States other then Indiana wish to speak about SBI in their State, if the answer is no Mark Rutherford will get more time!

15:30 – 16:00 Mark Rutherford, Closing speech, how to implement the plan going forward.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Our politicians need to be replaced at once

Please go to The Drudge Report and check out this byline:
http://www.drudgereport.com/flashch.htm
This report talks about two Senators, one Republican and one Democrat, who have egos so large they need to waste time trying to name government buildings after themselves.

You have got to be kidding me.

We have a large number of problems in this country and these idiots are trying to name buildings after themselves...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Alito could be a failure on abortion

As most of you know I am a small government type and I believe in the power of the fifty states.

After reading many of his opinions it appears unlikely that Alito would vote to overturn Roe v Wade.

That sucks.

Roe v Wade should be overturned at once. Abortion should have NEVER been regulated by The Federal government, the very idea is contrary to our constitution...

Each of the fifty states should decide whether abortion is legal or not themselves. This would most likely make it legal in some states, and illegal in other states, I feel this is 100% what the founding fathers intended. They never wanted The Federal Government to dictate policy to the fifty states on issues like abortion...

I general I am pro choice, that being said, it should be up to the States and I overall think abortion is wrong in many cases; but, not all. I am pro choice because I do NOT think it is the governments job to tell potential mother's what they can do...

Friday, November 11, 2005

An intersting take on Alito

I tend to like what I currently know about Judge Alito. Here is a link to an article everyone should read about Alito

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5188

Do not get me wrong, Alito was not by first choice; Janice Rodgers Brown was definately my choice. She is quite Libertarian and has an awesome personal story...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fiscal Insanity in Fort Wayne

Wow. It looks like all of the following will happen this year:

An increase of 25% to your water bill
An increase of 65% to your gas bill
A $1 a month increase to your trash bill

Of course your property taxes will be going up as well.

I do NOT want to hear any of our local elected Republicans claim to be fiscal conservatives, they are not. Spend, Spend, tax, and tax.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tomorrow is election day in much of America

There is not an election in Indiana tomorrow; but, there is in most of The United States.

Some of the readers of this blog are from states other then Indiana.

Please go out and vote. I think you can make a difference.

In my opinion, our country will soon reach a turning point; I think we all need to do everything we can to elect politicians who will stop America from going down the path we are currently embarked upon.

The Federal debt just went over $8,000,000,000,000 dollars, that is 8 TRILLION dollars.

Depending on whose figures you use the unfunded liabilities in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are between 61 and 75 TRILLION more dollars in the next 75 years.

Something will have to change. We cannot continue to pass on this debt to future generations, we must stop the fiscal insanity.

On social issues we have got to decrease the size of the Feederal government, we have to resotre the rights of the fifty states, and we have to get the government out of every aspect of our lives and businesses!

Rioting spreads in France

It is amazing how far the rioting has spread in France.

It is now reported that as many as 10 police officers were wounded by shotgun blasts, over 3500 cars have been burned, and numerous buildings have been destroyed.

It is past time for France to send in their army and break the backs of the rioters...

It will be interesting to see what France does, will they surrender?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Rioting in Paris

It is hard to believe that there has now been rioting in France for 9 days.

There are reports of over 500 cars destroyed, at least 27 buses destroyed, two trains attacked, and many other items.

It will be interesting to see how the French government deals with this if it continues... Maybe they will surrender to the Muslims rioters?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

An "evil" day in Colorado

Colorado has the most powerful TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) in the nation. Currently the state of Colorado can only increase annual government spending by the combination of annual inflation and the annual growth in population. For example, if inflation was 2% last year, and the population of Colorado grew by 2% last year, this would mean that the annual budget can only increase by 4%. Furthermore all unspent tax revenue MUST be returned to the taxpayers.

The only way this can be over-ridden is by a statewide ballot initiaitve. In other words it can only be overturned by the people of the state.

What a great and novel idea!

Unforunately, it looks like the voters of Colorado have given in to the forces of larger government and agreed to let the State spend 3.7 extra billion dollars in the next five year rather then return it to the taxpayers. With 73% of the vote in those in favor of spending the extra money have 53% of the vote and those against only 47%.

It is a sad day in Colorado.

The forces of larger government have won... It looks like they are going to be allowed to spend (I mean waste) more tax money.

At least they had to let the taxpayers in Colorado make this decision.

It is truly a sad day in Colorado...