Sunday, December 30, 2007

More needless government interference

Indiana has a new law that will impact most professional tax preparers. Starting January 1st, 2008 any firm that filed 100 or more Indiana tax returns must file all of their Indiana tax returns electronically.

I personally prefer e-filing; however, we have several clients that are not comfortable with e-filing and would rather not e-file their returns. This next tax year we will have to e-file all of our Indiana returns so anyone that wants to paper file their returns will have to prepare their own return or they will have to find a very small firm that filed less then 100 Indiana tax returns in the previous year.

You can learn more about this new rule at: http://www.in.gov/dor/taxpro/efile-mandate.html

Mike Sylvester, CPA

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Accident Followup - and a question for all of you

To All,

Today I accomplished several things.

#1) Went to FWO and met w/ Dr. Caldwell. First thing I must say is that they were very easy to work with through the entire process (including NOT DEMANDING CASH). He explained what he thinks is wrong w/ my finger and why he thinks that. I go into outpatient surgery next Thursday at St. Joe at 11AM. I'm going to have a plate put on the bone as he thinks it is rotated.

#2) I went to the home of the lady who hit me. I tried first calling Allstate to speak w/ the person handling my claim only to find that neither she nor her address were in their system. After speaking w/ her I got the policy number and agency. After that I drove to the agency to determine whether or not there really is a policy in force. I was beginning to worry, but all is good.

#3) I spoke w/ the claims handler at Allstate and filed my official report. It would appear that this is where the ugly bureaucracy kicks in. This claims handler will make an initial determination then pass it on to one (or more) local claims handlers.

#4) I spoke w/ St. Joe's billing dept. Guess what?!?! They didn't demand any cash up front! (Yes, it is true) As a matter of fact we even DISCUSSED how I wanted to handle the billing, through my company or Allstate. After discussing that their bill would be a one time event and then over we decided to send the bill directly to Allstate and avoid subrogation. Very easy here.

Here is accident tip 101 for all of you out there: If involved in an auto accident IF POSSIBLE get the other persons policy number and insurance company!!! While there is mucho info on the police report the policy number IS NOT THERE! Getting this will avoid headaches, trust me.

While I am telling a personal story here on a blog that is dedicated primarily to politics I am hoping, by including some small details, to open a window into a major political debate: that of healthcare in the United States. I hope my misfortune will shed some light on what is right and wrong from the patients point of view. If anyone thinks this an inappropriate platform for my take let me know what you think and why you think so.

Respectfully,

Doug

Friday, December 28, 2007

The city must disclose what's in the environmental study

Hat tip to Jeff Pruitt

The city has decided not to exercise the $25,000 option to buy the Omnisource property. This means the commercial negotiations are over and the city now has no legal standing to keep the results of the environmental study secret. We need to know if contamination to the property poses a public health risk.

This also means the city wasted $25,000 when it bought the option in the first place. It would have been even more of a waste if the city actually bought the property. Government should stay out of real estate speculation.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

ONE v/s FWO - My Opinion FWO!!!

To All,

Thank you all for the moral support. I hope everyone is having a good holiday season.

Yesterday I accomplished the following:

#1) Got copy of accident report - $12 (will be charged to Allstate)
#2) Took copy of report to my insurance (so they can file proof of insurance to state)
#3) Ordered replacement of glasses (will be charged to Allstate)
#4) Rented replacement vehicle & picked up (will be charged to Allstate)
#5) Replaced my cell phone (will NOT be charged to Allstate - it had been having issues)
#6) Stopped by work to show them my condition & discuss my situation (Loss of work will be charged to Allstate)
#7) Set up appointment w/ Orthopedic Doctor - THIS IS THE ONE TO DISCUSS!!! :(

I first called Orthopedics North East. I called them because: A - They are nearby, B - They were recommended by Parkview as being a partner & thus having access to my medical information.

The first thing I did when calling them was to explain that I was just involved in an accident Christmas Eve and this was the soonest I could call. I need to see a Doctor right away so that my hand doesn't start to heal in an incorrect manner and thus need to be broken again so as to heal correctly.

The first - AND I MEAN FIRST - thing I am told (along w/ "we need to register you") is that I will need to bring $250 CASH in when I come in!!! Agitated, perturbed, angry, distraught, DO NOT EVEN begin to express my response to this. I explained that insurance would be covering this. In the worst case of her letting her insurance lapse my uninsured/under insured coverage would kick in and take care of it. The lady from ONE reiterated that I would need to bring in $250 cash.

At this point I offered the following gem of thought, "How about I just walk in this afternoon with a medical complaint and let you refuse to see me. Then, when something goes bad w/ my hand we'll let the lawyers figure it out in court - how about that?" She told me that she was just informing me of their policy.

At this point I allowed her to get my information but did NOT set an appointment!

I called Fort Wayne Orthopedics (FWO) and scheduled an appointment through them. The lady in billing explained that we would file through my insurance as the other insurance would not pay until the entire process is complete and that could take 6 monthes or a year or more. I am still not happy with this but she was at least friendly and explained their reasoning.

I will drive clear across town tomorrow morning for a 9:45AM appointment with Dr. Caldwell. So far I believe I have griped to everyone I have met about ONE - Heartz, my office, Centennial Wireless, FWO.

Don't misunderstand me, I believe everyone has a right to be paid for their work. However, the medical industry has the entire INSURANCE INDUSTRY (an industry that makes billions of dollars both in income AND investments) guaranteeing them payment. This is the reason we all pay insurance premiums, to cover our butts in an emergency. To be presumed a "nere do well" by ONE and demand CASH up front IS AN AFFRONT!

Of course this is just my opinion. What is yours???

Respectfully,

Doug

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our policians and the NFL

I am an NFL fan. I have been an NFL fan for many years. I tend to watch quite a few NFL games during the year.

You just have to read this piece:
<http://wcbstv.com/sports/Patriots.game.simulcast.2.618281.html>

Basically our politicians in Washington DC have decided to "interfere" with the NFL in order to ensure that the Saturday night football game is broadcast on NBC and CBS.

Good grief...

We have large and looming problems in this country and our politicians are worried about who can watch what football game on TV?

We need some new politicians...

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Doug was in an accident

To All,

Christmas Eve I decided to go to church services at 7PM. This would give me time to grab a bite to eat afterwards and finish wrapping gifts.

After church I visited my friends Jack & Hillary. Jack is always "Johnny on the spot" with some good food & company.

I left their house a little after 10PM and headed home. When I got to Hobson & Lake I headed north on Hobson. The light changed to green while I was still going north so I entered the intersection and "WHAM"! All I saw were two headlights out of the corner of my eye before they slammed into me. I did a 360 at least once before I wound up pinned to a pole in front of the BBQ place.

I don't know how long I sat there evaluating that I was still alive, wasn't in severe pain, no blood, and generally OK given what had just happened. I pulled out my cell and immediately called 911. They were very good in talking to me. While I was talking several folks came over to ask if I was OK. I said NO. One chap found my catechism book in the middle of the street. It had been on the back seat of my car. I was still facing west and couldn't get out of my car or turn my head and see who or what had hit me. I was told it was a woman and she was very upset.

I want to commend all of the firefighters, EMS workers, Fort Wayne Police, and good citizens who stuck around on their Christmas Eve to help accurately report what had happened. I was treated very well and all were most patient. I tried to save whoever pays for this (her insurance or mine) by getting a ride to Parkviews ER by having ny father take me. He lives just minutes away and since I wasn't dying why pay for an ambulance IF you don't need it.

My left thigh is sore as hell and my right hand hurts. My neck and chest are sore but so far don't have major pain. It turns out my right hand broke a bone and may require surgery. I should know Wednesday after I see an orthopedic specialist.

Right now my right arm is in a cast and I am typing w/ one hand.

I want everyone to realize how quickly things can go bad. Be thankful for what you have and that it isn't worse. Tonight I lost about 4 hours of my time. My car is gone. The cop told me the side impact reinforcement helped save me. He said I was hit so hard that my dashboard is bent. I know she didn't even slow down. I pay my insurance and I hope she did too. I lost my glasses and hope I find them somewhere in my car.

The only thing that REALLY bothers me is the fact that my car was going to be paid off in 3 monthes. I was looking forward to driving it without car payments for years to come.

I was truly blessed tonight. I am home safe and will hurt tomorrow but that is all. When you read this hug your loved ones, call a friend and thank them for being there. Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Doug
Banged & bruised but still kicking:)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fort Wayne Combined Sewer Overflow

Well this week it was announced that the Federal Government and the city of Fort Wayne reached an agreement concerning the amount of raw sewage the city of Fort Wayne is dumping into the rivers. This is a topic I have blogged extensively about in the last couple of years.

Our sewers and stormwater systems were designed well over one hundred years ago. We are one of many cities that elected to have these two system overflow to each other. The Federal government has disallowed this and is in the process of requiring many cities to stop discharging large amounts of raw sewage into the rivers.

Basically Fort Wayne proposed to cut its raw sewage discharge by about 90% for a cost of about one quarter of a billion dollars over the next 18 years. The Federal government has accepted that. Realize that to lower the discharge the final 10% would have cost an additional quarter of a billion dollars!

It is currently estimated that sewer rates will triple over the next 18 years to pay for the infrastructure improvements that will be necessary to lower the sewage discharge into the rivers.

Just for the record, I told you this would happen. Several people scoffed at me and said that it wold not be this expensive...

One of the reasons I oppose frivolous projects like Harrison Square is the fact that I knew that lowering the discharge of sewage into the rivers would be very expensive.

The local news media did cover this story, for one day.

The fact that our sewer rates will be tripling got about the same amount of attention as did the fact the Matt Kelty's relatives paid for a Cruise for his family.

Mike Sylvester

Before you use your computer again, read this

Another type of plastic is believed to cause cancer. Maybe you all should step away from your keyboards, because you might be absorbing carcinogens through your fingertips. Don't even bother to shut down, because you don't know what's in your mouse, either.

Instead, you should abandon synthetic products altogether and become hunter-gatherers. You'll get lots of exercise, and you'll eat more vegatables. You won't have to worry about hormone treated beef or street crime. You won't have to worry about cancer then because you'll have an average life expectancy of 23.

Friday NIght and the IPFW Libertarians

My wife and I had the IPFW campus Libertarians over to our house. My wife fixed them a bunch of food and we watched a couple of movies that they brought over.

We watched Dr. Strangelove. I had never seen the movie and I enjoyed it a lot. Remember that I served on a nuclear submarine at the end of the Cold War. Some parts of the movie were very accurate, especially the way the military communicates by repeating things back.

We then watched Fahrenheit 911. I had never seen that movie before and I enjoyed it somewhat. It certainly is not a neutral documentary; however, when it talks about the Bush's and Saudi Arabia I was interested. The Clinton family and the Bush family have strong ties with Saudi Arabia.

Mike Sylvester

Friday, December 21, 2007

Election Board meeting today

After reading a post over at Fort Wayne Left earlier today (<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/2007/12/election-board-hearing-coverage.html>) I decided to head over to the meeting. I was meeting with a new client near Downtown and that meeting ended at 2:35; so I was able to attend the Election Board Meeting.

15 people attended the meeting; over one third of the people were members of the press. Several local Republicans attended the meeting, as did several Kelty supporters, as did a couple of local Democrats.

The first issue discussed was a complaint filed by Jeff Pruitt over at Fort Wayne left concerning a $1000 contribution made to the Kelty campaign by Dan Turkette. To make a long story short the Kelty campaign should have promptly filed a CFA-11 and they did not.

The Election Board decided to clarify their interpretation of the difference between a "late filing" and a "failure to file." Basically they decided that if you file your report before the next campaign finance report is due then it is a "late filing." If you file the report after an intervening report is due then it is a "failure to file."

The Election Board clarified that Indiana code allows a fine to be set at $50 per day that a report is late up to a maximum of $1000. The Election Board then assessed a fine of $1000 against the Kelty Campaign since the CFA-11 was filed several months late.

The second item discussed was a disclaimer that was on the Kelty Campaign website about campaign contributions. To make a long story short the Election Board asked the Kelty campaign to remove this disclaimer and they removed it.

The Election Board then went on to clarify itemized and un-itemized contributions. If you contribute $100 (In aggregate) to a candidate then the candidate is to report your name etc. If you contribute less then $100 (In aggregate) then the contribution can be listed as an un-itemized contribution. So if you give a candidate $1 a day for 100 consecutive days then your contribution should be listed as an itemized contribution.

The Election Board then went on to clarify when a "disclaimer" is required on campaign material. They pointed out that there is a list in the Campaign Manual and that the disclaimer must go on yard signs, bumper stickers, etc. Apparently every election there is a complaint about someone with campaign materials that does not have a disclaimer on it. In the past the Election Board has contacted the candidate and the candidate has "fixed" the problem...

The Election Board decided to set a policy on this matter. Basically if a campaign does not use a "disclaimer" they will be warned once with a "cease-and-desist" letter. If there is a second (completely separate) violation of the rules then the Election Board will turn the matter over to the Prosecutor's Office.

The third item was a broad complaint filed that asked the Election Board to perform a general investigation of the finances of the Kelty campaign. The Election Board found this complaint to be too broad and decided to action was required.

I thought the Election Board did a good job a clarifying the laws and better yet of deciding in advance how future violations would be handled.

Mike Sylvester

Thursday night

Last night we went to my daughter's musical at Oak View Elementary. Kayla is in the first grade and last night's event was for 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade students. So many people attended this event that the gym was completely filled with people.

Oak View has a new music teacher, Aimee Slone, who was responsible for the program. She did a fantastic job and I was very impressed by the program.

Those of you who know me realize that I am not particularly interested in "the arts." That being said, they put on a great show and we had a great time.

Since I was at the Oak View program I could not attend the New Media, New Rules event held last night. You can read more about it here:
<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/>
<http://bepartofthesolution.blogspot.com/2007/12/brief-report-on-blogger-panel.html>

I wish I could have attended the event; however, I enjoyed seeing my daughter sing! This is an event that I would have attended if it did not conflict with my daughters school program.

Mike Sylvester

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Health Care part 1: Fast track FDA approval

I wonder if I am doomed to have long discussions about health care reform every even-numbered year for the rest of my life. But I think I have one idea that even my friends on the left can agree on.

Let's have fast track FDA approval for treatments proven to work in other countries. Beta-blockers had been saving the lives of Europeans for years before the FDA approved their use over here.

Phage therapy is another treatment available outside of the US. The process involves the use of bacteriophage, viruses that infect bacteria, to attack a bacterial infection. Since bacteriophage exist in nature, it's 100% organic if you're into that sort of thing. Unlike other "organic" treatments, this really does work.

Phage therapy has been available in Eastern Europe for decades, but it is still not available here. The reason why? Because it costs a lot of money to clear the FDA approval process. A company would cheerfully fund the required trials if it thought that there would be a return on the investment. Except one cannot patent a process that has already been invented elsewhere, so there is no money to be made from this. So if you are inflicted with an antibiotic resistant strain of a disease, you'll likely have to travel to the Republic of Georgia for phage therapy.

I proposed that if a treatment has been proven to work in other countries, the FDA should simply approve it. There is no biological difference between Americans and foreigners, so whatever drug works on them should work on us as well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Public Access Live

To All,

It's that time again to tune into your favorite (and only) Libertarian Live program.

This Thursday evening my guest will be Sam Goldstein from Indianapolis. We will be discussing current events both statewide and nationally.

Who: Doug Horner & Sam Goldstein
What: Libertarians at Large
Where: Cable Channel 57
When: Thursday, Dec 20th 7P - 8P
Why: Share information about the LPIN

Respectfully,

Doug Horner

Incandescent light bulbs to be phased out.

Congress has passed a bill that will eventually ban incandescent light bulbs in the next decade. I personally use CFL bulbs at my house. Last year when I moved I took all my CFL's from my old house, and I replaced them with the incandescents from my new house. But there are drawbacks to CFL's which would make many consumers prefer the older variety of bulb. For example, turning the lights on for only short periods of time causes a CFL to burn out quicker. If you have a light in your closet that is only on for less than a minute a day, then you would want an incandescent bulb for that closet light.

As people become aware of the money and energy that they can save with CFL's, they will eagerly make the switch if they figure that a CFL would in fact save them money in the application that they want to use it. But when the government steps in and makes the choice for them, it can cause more energy to be wasted in the long run. CFL's require more energy to manufacture, hence the higher cost. It is up to the consumers themselves to decide which bulb is right for them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

At least let veterans smoke in their clubs.

If smoking is to be considered a privilege and not a right, then veterans have earned that privilege. Many veterans had to work in an environment that contained substances far more hazardous than secondhand smoke. The most notorious of these is secondhand lead. Secondhand lead has been known for centuries to cause brain damage, organ failure, paralysis, and death.

Quite a few of these men were not given a choice of whether they wanted to work in that environment. You can quit a civilian job anytime you want. But it's a lot harder to get out of the military than it is to get in. So at least let veteran's clubs smoke.

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Sentinel has an interesting piece tonight

It is a front page article at the bottom of the page. You can read it here:
<http://www.mcclatchydc.com/staff/rob_hotakainen/story/23154.html>

This piece illustrates one of the things that is wrong with America and wrong with big Government Democrats and Republicans.

On Feb 19th, 2009 broadcasters will no longer be required to broadcast the old analog signals that many Americans still use; per the article 20 million homes rely on analog signals.

The Federal Government set the Feb 19th, 2009 deadline a couple of years ago in order to force broadcasters to keep broadcasting analog signals so that Americans would have time to convert to digital television.

On Feb 19th 2009 you will have three choices per the piece:
1. Get a TV with a digital tuner (Note I do not have one yet)
2. Connect to cable or satellite.
3. Purchase a converter box for $60 to $70 that will let you use your old analog TV.

Get this, Congress has authorized 1.5 billion dollars to subsidize this switch so that Americans can switch easier.

You have got to be kidding me...

Each household will be able to purchase two coupons that will save you $40 on the cost of a converter box.

Yep, you got that right, the Federal Government is directly subsidizing the boxes to help ensure that Americans get to keep watching TV.

Is there anyone who thinks this is a good idea?

Mike Sylvester

Democrats, President Bush, and the failures of Congress this year

The Democrats have utterly failed to use their majorities in Washington DC to get almost anything done. They have passed a few small bills; however, they have failed to do any of the following:

1. Force a change of direction in Iraq. In fact, we have more troops in Iraq today with a Democratic majority then we had with a Republican majority...

2. Fix the Alternative Minimum Tax. This is a sad battle that is occurring between the Dems and Reps. Basically the AMT is going to hit a whole bunch of taxpayers in the mouth this year if it is not "patched" for another year. This is something that we have known about all year, and yet nothing has been done. Our politicians are realistically considering two options and both are poor:

Option one is the one the Democrats are pushing for. In it they "patch" the AMT and they close tax loopholes and increase taxes on the rich to pay for it.

Option two is the one the Republicans are pushing for. In it they "patch" the AMT and increase the National debt.

If someone had a gun to my head I would side with the Democrats and option 1. We have got to stop "kicking the can down the road" and we have to stop increasing the National debt. That being said; option two is not the solution that should be chosen either.

The real answer is to fix the tax code and cut spending; unfortunately for America neither the Reps or Dems are willing to do this...

3. The Dems promised to "drain the swamp" and change how business was done. They have passed a couple of minor bills; however, there is no doubt that the culture of corruption continues and the Dems are just a much a part of it as the Reps. Earmark spending is rampant and the Dems are embarrassing themselves and breaking their promises...

4. One of the most basic functions of Government is to fund various programs. To date this has not been done either.

It is truly pathetic and the Dems need to get their act together because they have NOT followed through on their promises...

Mike Sylvester

NIPSCO

Well it took two weeks, five telephone calls, and three faxes for NIPSCO to change the address from the Developer to our Accounting firm.

Good grief...

Mike Sylvester

Friday, December 14, 2007

Office Update

The move into the new office is progressing; however, there are currently three problems that have irritated me. Two of the three involve large companies with HORRIBLE customer service.

My wife has been trying to change the NIPSCO account at out new office from the Developer to our business since December 3rd. The account is still in the name of the Developer. My wife has talked to NIPSCO four times and she has sent them three different faxes with various documents they have requested. NIPSCO did manage to get our deposit of nearly $300; however, they still have not managed to put the account in the name of our business... This is yet another example of why monopolies and large Government do not work well...

Our Verizon problems are mostly resolved. I ended up going without a home phone number for one week since Verizon could not figure out how to give me a new home phone number for seven days. I do have a new phone number; however, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week I got notices from Verizon telling me that my Internet service would be disconnected it if was not paid. Each time I have called Verizon and told them that the account is paid in full; however, I have a new home phone number and most likely that need to change something in my billing profile. I have called them over this issue five times this week and talked to six different people. It is still not resolved; however, the person I spoke to last (The sixth person) told me that she can see that I am getting the disconnect notices; however, she does not understand why since my account is paid in full. Supposedly she turned this over to her manager and it will be resolved within 24 hours. About 8 hours have passed so far...

I ordered office furniture from InFusion in Fort Wayne. I got the order in such that the furniture would be delivered to my office by December 4th. The furniture has not even been made at the factory yet; however, on Wednesday of this week they assured me I would get it by Monday December 17th. I called them today and they were much less certain... My computers are sitting on the floor in the office and we are splitting our time between the new office and our house.

Luckily we moved on December 3rd so that we would have about a month to get our new office setup before our busy time. We chose a month because we knew that things would go wrong. They always do...

Mike Sylvester

A little experiment

I am going to try allowing people with Open ID accounts to post comments on this blog. Some people would prefer to use the same login that they use with AOL or AIM as they do with Blogger.

I call this an experiment because I could not think of any drawbacks to allowing OpenID comments, and yet that does not mean that there are no drawbacks.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Media New Rules Public Forum Dec. 20

Local political parties come together to present "New Media, New Rules"

FORT WAYNE, In., Dec. 13 -- The Republican, Democratic and Libertarian Parties of Allen County, in conjunction with the Fort Wayne Blogger Network, are proud to present "New Media, New Rules: How candidates and constituents can maximize the power of the Internet," Thursday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Downtown Allen County Public Library.

New Media, New Rules will feature a presentation by Fort Wayne Observed founder Nathan Gotsch and a panel discussion on the significant impact of new media on the 2007 with city council members-elect Mitch Harper (also editor of Fort Wayne Observed) and Karen Goldner as well as bloggers Jeff Pruitt (Fort Wayne Left) and Dan Turkette (Fort Wayne News).

In the first part of the program, Gotsch will give citizens advice on blogging effectively in order to make sure their voices are heard by and have an impact on elected officials. He'll also discuss how candidates can develop Internet strategies that take advantage of new technologies (pointing out missed opportunities during the 2007 campaign) as well as providing tips on how to interact with political bloggers writing about their campaign.

That will be followed by the panel discussion on the impact of local blogs on this year's election and how new media is already altering the local political scene. They'll also be taking questions from the audience.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE PANELISTS:

Mitch Harper -- Harper edits the weblog Fort Wayne Observed and was elected to represent the 4th District on Fort Wayne City Council in the 2007 election

Karen Goldner -- a longtime commenter on local blogs, Goldner was elected to represent the 2nd District on Fort Wayne City Council in the 2007 election

Jeff Pruitt -- one of the contributors to the blog Fort Wayne Left, Pruitt first brought attention to the photos of Matt Kelty's infamous birthday cake, which made fun of several local Republicans

Dan Turkette -- formerly known as "Angry White Boy," Turkette was the most vociferous blogger in support of Kelty's candidacy (as well as a Kelty campaign volunteer and donor) and posted several important documents on his blog during the course of the campaign, including copies of the Articles of Indictment against Kelty and the internals from a poll commissioned by the Kelty campaign.

LPAC 2.0 turns 3

Today is the third anniversary of the convention at which the Libertarian Party of Allen County was reorganized. We have accomplished a lot, yet we still have a long way to go.

LPAC is not just a group of eggheads who sit in a coffeehouse quoting Rand and Rothbard. We do a lot with what little we have, and we are working on having more with which to do a lot with.

I think our weakest area is fundraising. It might seem ironic that lassiez-faire capitalists have trouble coming up with cash, but there it is. Earning money feels so much more right than begging for it. We'll raise more money in the future though.

Money is going to play a lesser role in the future, however. This blog doesn't cost us anything to produce and here you are reading it. But the overlap between voters and Internet users is small. Today, many voters don't use the Net and many Internet users don't vote. As the younger generation of voters starts to replace older voters, elections will be contests that take place almost entirely online. That will do more to level the playing field than campaign finance reform.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

National Party Resolution on Ron Paul

LNC resolution to Ron Paul

Party congratulates Congressman Paul for his success in spreading a message of peace, prosperity and freedom

Charleston, SC – In a meeting of the Libertarian National Committee held this weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, former Congressman Bob Barr proposed a resolution urging Congressman Ron Paul to seek the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.

The resolution passed unanimously and is included below:

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party and Congressman Ron Paul share many common principles for liberty and prosperity in America, and

WHEREAS, Congressman Ron Paul is a member of the Libertarian Party in good standing, and

WHEREAS, Congressman Ron Paul was previously nominated by the delegates of the Libertarian National Convention to serve as the Libertarian Party’s 1988 presidential candidate, and

WHEREAS, Congressman Ron Paul, through the efforts of his current presidential campaign, has ignited a renewed passion for liberty across America, and

WHEREAS, for over 35 years, the members of the Libertarian Party have continually fought for liberty through activism, education and the political process, and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party and its members have remained respectful, and in many cases, supportive of Congressman Ron Paul’s campaign seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian National Committee encourages competition in the race for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination and is appreciative of all candidates who make the commitment to run;

NOW THEREFORE, in the event that Republican primary voters select a candidate other than Congressman Paul in February of 2008, the Libertarian National Committee urges Congressman Ron Paul to seek the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party to be decided in Denver, Colorado during Memorial Day weekend of 2008.

FURTHERMORE, The Libertarian National Committee congratulates Congressman Paul for his success in spreading a message of peace, prosperity and freedom and also thanks the thousands of activists and supporters across the United States who have made this unprecedented success possible.

RESOLUTION ADOPTED unanimously by vote of the Libertarian National Committee, the 9th day of December 2007, in the city of Charleston, State of South Carolina, United States of America.

Some good news

A state committee recommended recommended numerous reforms to local governments. These reforms including reducing the number of local government units by over a third and appointing officials such as sheriff, coroner, and county recorder rather than electing them.

The only downside to this that I can find is that we will no longer get to hear John McGauley's radio commercials.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

New Building, the good and the bad

Purchasing and moving into a new Commercial Office space has been quite the adventure. It has taken a lot more of my (And my partner's) time then we expected.

In an earlier post I discussed some of the details about the purchase itself. Today I want to talk about some local venders who did a good job; and then some who did not do as well...

In no particular order:

New locks; went great.
I had the locks on the front and back doors re-keyed after the construction project; you never know who has a copy after construction. I got out the phone book and called AAL locksmiths. They came out within one hour and replaced both locks with locks that were keyed the same. They charged a reasonable price and did a great job.

Switching gas and electric into our Company name, was awful...
The developer had the gas and electric in his name during construction. After we took possession Karena called to get the accounts transferred into our name. This was an extremely painful process that involved three things for each account:
1. We had to fax them a bunch of information prior to them switching the account into our name. 2. They both told Karena that she either needed to drive across town that same day and drop off a deposit in person or that she had to pay a fee and do it by phone or online. Both told her that dropping a check in the mail that same day was not acceptable. NIPSCO charged us a $5.95 fee and AEP charged us a $2.95 fee to give them our deposit by phone or internet.
3. Both required a large deposit from us even though we have been their customer for almost nine years. We have never had a late payment and have paid all of our bills promptly for that entire time. NIPSCO required a $295 deposit and AEP required a deposit of $278.
I am not impressed with either company... Both illustrate what is wrong with protected monopolies...

Phone service, OK so far
We decided to use a smaller phone company, CenturyTel, for our phone service. We purchased a package deal with a three year contract. That has gone ok so far...

Porting our current home phone and fax numbers to the new business, easy to port them; difficult to get a new number from Verizon
This has been another adventure. I talked to Verizon about six weeks prior to taking possession of the building. They told me the easiest way to port my number was to wait until the day I moved and then call their 800 number and that it would be a simple matter to give us a new phone number at home. Note that I verified this with two different people at Verizon... We took possession of the building on December 3rd and CenturyTel was able to port the phone numbers on time. I am still waiting on Verizon for a new home phone number... Supposedly I will get it Monday...

New phones and phone system for office, great
We purchased an office telephone system from Overman Telephone Services out of New Haven. They did a prompt and efficient job when installing the new phone system.

New Furniture, this has been the biggest problem yet
I ordered office furniture from InFusion, an office store located downtown. I ordered the items so that they would get here in time for installation on Dec 4th. They are having problems getting the furniture from their supplier; Highpoint. It now looks like I will get it on December 18th... This has slowed things down significantly. The local distributor has been responsive; Highpoint has been terrible. I imagine they are using Just in Time manufacturing and that they missed yet again...

So some good and some bad...

Mike Sylvester

Open Thread Post: Presidetial Primary Edition!!!

Here's your chance to plug or denounce the presidential candidate of your choice, irregardless of party. Keep in mind that if Evan Bayh gets picked as a running mate, Indiana could become a swing state. The fate of this nation may hinge on a few Lake County absentee ballots getting lost in the mail, or even on someone stumbling on to this very blog! Come on, now is your chance to make history!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My new blog is up

My new blog and business website are up. There are two issues that are still being worked on; however, it is up and running.

You can check it out at:
sbscpagroup.com

The new blog will focus on accounting, economics, our business and will NOT discuss politics.

I will post my political topics here...

Mike Sylvester

Would this work here?

Would this work here? NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo thinks this is the best thing since sliced bread....

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/opinion/06wed3.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin

http://www.sunlightny.com/snl1/app/index.jsp

"Our goal is to promote disclosure as well as to increase government's transparency and accountability to you. As James Madison, the Founding Father of the Bill of Rights observed, "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

"More transparency can only help, although the old guard won’t see it that way. As Mr. Cuomo argues correctly, it is only by revealing “the good, the bad and the ugly” that New Yorkers will start believing that somebody is telling them the truth about how their state really works."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Office, the good...

We are moving into our new office. It is located right behind the Dupont Branch of the Allen County Public Library. It is located at 450 E Dupont Rd, Fort Wayne, IN, 46825. It is about a mile and a half from our house...

We purchased 1/4 of an office "condo." The other 3/4 is available and can be built out. The other units can be purchased or leased...

There were a few very minor hiccups; however, the people involved in constructing the building did a very good job; specifically:

John Rogers was the Developer and he did a good job.
Chris Reed at BND was the go-between and she coordiated the project and she did an awesome job.
E&V Construction was the General Contractor and they did a good job as well.
Troy Teimschisel (Sperry Van Ness) did a good job as well.

I would recommend that if you are looking to purchase a commericail building or to build one that you consider the above poeple they all did a good job!

I often find that I am writing about negative things on this blog; and I am trying to write about "good" things as well...

Mike Sylvester

Hillary Clinton calls NAFTA a mistake.

Senator Clinton now says that the North American Free Trade Agreement was a mistake. However, many credit NAFTA with the economic boom that took place during her husband's administration. Most of the frontrunners in this race, including the GOP's Mike Huckabee, are pandering to popular protectionist pressure in the presidential primary. I have singled out Mrs. Clinton for criticism because she ought to know better. But if she does the right thing and backs free trade again after the election, whether she does so as a President or a Senator, I promise that I will refrain from calling her a flip-flopper. Instead I will congratulate her on realizing her mistake and making the correction.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My take on the New Hampshire hostage taker

A guy straps a fake bomb to his chest and says he wants to talk to Hillary Clinton about mental illness. It would seem that he has some first hand knowledge of the subject. He'll probably try to cop an insanity plea.
"Insane" is a legal term, not a psychological term. For an insanity plea to work, the defense must establish reasonable doubt regarding whether the defendant knew that taking hostages was wrong. One can be mentally ill without being insane.

Maybe the guy is insane, maybe he's faking it. I'm worried that if the jury buys his insanity plea in a high profile case such as this, it is going to inspire criminals to act bizarre in order to sell the plea.