by T.L. James | 12:00 pm, April 17, 2013
Yes, you read that right: we’re shutting down PPC.
The main driver behind this is a simple lack of time and resources to keep the website going in a form we can be excited about and happy with – half of us have moved out of state, and the rest of us are overwhelmed with commitments from our day jobs. It’s time to move on to other things and leave it to Colorado Peak Politics, WhoSaidYouSaid, Revealing Politics, Complete Colorado, Media Trackers Colorado, The Colorado Observer, and other sides I may be overlooking or which may be on the horizon.
We all have something to be proud of in what we’ve accomplished with PPC. We pioneered a number of citizen journalism practices on the center-right in Colorado, including extensive use of video, live video webcasting, state-wide blog aggregation, social media integration, activist training, and more – all on a shoestring budget – and helped to promote the Tea Party, 9-12, and other groups which have grown into an expanding center-right grassroots movement in Colorado.
Before signing off, we’d like to thank our readers, and to all who donated to us, helped promote the website and associated activities, and attended our classes. Most of all, thank you to our contributing authors without whom we wouldn’t have had much of a site.
The Peoples Press Collective
by T.L. James | 10:03 pm, April 16, 2013
The training classes on 4/20 and 4/27 have been cancelled.
by David K. Williams, Jr. | 2:04 pm, April 16, 2013
The Second Amendment is not about hunting or protecting your house from burglars. It is about fighting tyranny.
Until recently, even big-time Democrats like Hubert H. Humphrey accepted this truth: "The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible."
According to modern intellectual Mark Nuckols at The Atlantic, however,
"It is easy to ridicule such rhetoric as just overindulgence in Red Dawn fantasies about resourceful and brave citizens resisting a modern army with nothing more than small arms and their wits. Even individual Americans armed with military-style assault rifles could hardly pose any serious resistance to any future tyrannical central government supported by overwhelmingly powerful military capabilities."
In other words, we are just ignorant rubes with a Rambo-complex.
In World War II, the Japanese had overwhelmingly powerful military capabilities Certainly they could beat a bunch of rubes with rifles, right? Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto didn't think so: "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass(1)."
And those goat herders in Afghanistan held off a nuclear powered Soviet Union until the Communists went home with their hammer and sickle between their legs.
More recently, a bunch of students and radicals have overthrown governments with powerful military capabilities in Lybia, Egypt and are holding their own in Syria.
Even if the anti-gun thesis that an armed citizen is useless against tyranny, what is the alternative? Is it better to rollover, defenseless; or fight with whatever weapon you might have? The anti-gunners would have you rollover. After all, according to them, it is futile to fight with your little rifle.
Just comply, they say. Do what you are told by the people with the guns. Don't fight. You might hurt yourself. It is better to live under tyranny than to die fighting for your freedom, they say.
They can kiss my ass.
(1) Even though that quotation is almost certainly misattributed and the Japanese Admiral didn't actually ever say that, I'm borrowing from Dan Rather - it may not be true, but it is accurate.
Original Post: BlueCarp
by Michelle Morin | 4:14 pm, April 15, 2013
by Michelle Morin
The leftist petri dish gets murkier everyday here in Colorado. Our state will be called Commun-orado after this one passes.
The Colorado Legislature has dropped HB 13-1303 which is nothing more than government sanctioned voter fraud.
The bill is in its first House Committee as I write this today, April 15th. Among its many provisions, the bill does the following:
- It allows for same day voter registration,
- It eliminates the category of “inactive voter” requiring mail ballots to be sent to addresses that have not participated in the voting process opening these ballots to be fraudulently returned on the day of the election causing serious issues of ballot verification,
- It eliminates the time requirement for a person to live within a district in order to vote in that district.
- It allows unaffiliated voters to vote in primary elections effectively destroying the purpose.
If passed into law, these actions allow for a person willing to break voter laws to vote in any district and in as many districts as they like, all at the empowerment of the current majority party in the Colorado legislature and Governor.
(h/t Don Rodgers)
Of course, this is all about “removing barriers” and making voting “more accessible” so that “all who want to exercise their right to vote should have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote by being able to register to vote up to and on election day.”
Wow. As if we don’t have the most accessible free election system in the entire world already?
Nope, that’s not the problem. It’s very simply the Democrats’ logical next step to secure their Marxist reign here in Colorado and ensure their new citizen-controlling laws aren’t challenged in the future – all this by “conveniently” multiplying their vote count. Simple as that.
Excerpts from the Colorado HB13-1303 bill:
1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
2 SECTION 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be
3 cited as the “Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act”.
4 SECTION 2. Legislative declaration. (1) The general assembly
5 hereby finds, determines, and declares that the intent of this act is to
-4- HB13-1303 remove barriers to participation in the electoral process by making both
2 voting and voter registration more convenient and accessible. Therefore,
3 all eligible citizens who want to exercise their right to vote should have
4 the opportunity to exercise their right to vote by being able to register to
5 vote up to and on election day.
6 (2) The general assembly further finds, determines, and declares
7 that the peoples’ self-government through the electoral process is more
8 legitimate and better accepted when voter participation increases. By
9 implementing this act, the general assembly hereby concludes that it is
10 appropriate to expand the use of mail ballot elections as a means to
11 increase voter participation. Recognizing the continued need for in-person
12 voting options through early voting and on election day, the general
13 assembly also finds that mail ballot elections must include voter service
14 and polling centers to enable electors to register to vote, update their
15 registration information, and cast ballots in person.
And excerpts from the bill summary:
The bill implements various changes to the “Uniform Election
Code of 1992″ (code).
Residency. Currently, to be eligible to register to vote, a person
must have resided both in the state and in the precinct in which he or she
intends to register for at least 30 days prior to an election. The bill
shortens the time required for state residency to 22 days and eliminates
the minimum time that an elector must have resided within a Colorado
Registration. Under current law, voter registration must be
effected no later than 29 days before an election for a person to cast a
ballot in that election. The bill expands the time during which a person
may register to vote in an election, and describes the deadlines associated
with the various methods of voter registration. Specifically, a person may
! Submitting a voter registration application through the
mail, a voter registration agency, or a voter registration
drive no later than 22 days prior to an election;
! Appearing in person at his or her county clerk and
recorder’s office when registration is permitted at the office
or submitting an application at a high school in accordance
with high school registration procedures;
! Applying via a local driver’s license examination facility or
through the on-line voter registration system maintained by
the secretary of state through 8 days prior to an election;
! Visiting a voter service and polling center during the time
that such location is open, including on or prior to the date
of the election.
The bill harmonizes the content of self-affirmations made in
connection with registering to vote.
Mail ballot elections. Under the bill, a mail ballot election is an
election for which active registered electors receive a ballot by mail and
may then cast the ballot by mail, deposit it at a drop-off location, or go to
a voter service and polling center to cast a ballot in person. The bill
requires all general, primary, odd-year, coordinated, presidential, special
legislative, recall, and congressional vacancy elections to be conducted
as mail ballot elections. Consequently, the ability of an elector to apply
-2- HB13-1303for permanent mail-in status is removed from the code.
The bill limits current code provisions relating to early and mail-in
voting to municipality and special district elections conducted under state
Voter service and polling centers and ballot drop-off locations.
To complement the implementation of mail ballot elections, the bill
requires county clerk and recorders to establish a minimum number of
voter service and polling centers, depending on the number of active
registered voters in the county. Factors that county clerk and recorders
must consider in designating voter service and polling centers are
Each voter service and polling center must provide the following:
! The ability for an eligible elector to register to vote;
! The ability for an eligible elector to cast a ballot;
! The ability for an eligible elector to update his or her
! The ability for an eligible elector who has legally changed
his or her name to have his or her name changed in the
! The ability for an unaffiliated registered elector to affiliate
with a political party and cast a ballot in a primary election;
! Secure computer access; except that smaller counties may
seek a waiver of this requirement upon demonstrating
hardship and securing approval of a plan to access the
statewide voter database and conduct real-time verification
of voter eligibility via telephone or other means;
! Facilities and equipment for persons with disabilities,
including direct record electronic voting machines or other
voting systems accessible to electors with disabilities;
! Voting booths;
! Original and replacement ballots for distribution;
! Mail ballots to requesting electors;
! The ability to accept mail ballots that are deposited by
! The ability of a person to cast a provisional ballot.
In addition to voter service and polling centers, certain counties
must also establish stand-alone drop-off locations.
Inactivity by reason of failure to vote.
The bill repeals the category of voter inactivity that is triggered by an elector’s failure to vote and makes all such voters active. As a result, such voters will receive mail ballots in future elections.
Electronic communications transmission. Except for ballots and voter information cards, upon request, county clerks and recorders are authorized to transmit electronically elections-related communications to voters.
Colorado voter access and modernized elections commission.
The Colorado voter access and modernized elections commission
(commission) is created for the purpose of evaluating implementation of
the bill and assessing systems used in the state for voting and registration.
The composition, terms, and duties of the commission are specified, and
the commission is directed to prepare and present 4 separate reports to the
state, veterans, and military affairs committees of the house of
representatives and the senate. The commission is subject to the sunset
review process for newly created advisory committees.
Accuracy of voter information. Beginning July 1, 2013, the
secretary of state must conduct a monthly national change of address
search on all electors whose names appear in the statewide voter
registration list. The secretary of state must transmit data gathered in such
searches to county clerk and recorders, who are required to update
electors’ records pursuant to statutorily prescribed procedures.
Currently, the secretary of state and the department of revenue
maintain a reciprocal information-sharing agreement that allows each
entity to verify information provided in connection with applications for
voter registration. The bill directs the secretary of state to enter into
similar information accessibility agreements with the department of
public health and environment and the department of corrections.
Original Post: Michelle Morin » PPC
by Mike Krause | 3:56 pm, April 15, 2013
At CompleteColorado.com’s new Page Two, Independence Institute senior fellow Barry Fagin warns against getting faked out by the Orwellian language trickery being used in the ongoing budget debate in Washington, DC:
We’ve all heard the typical media spin on the budget negotiations. The Democrats are proposing a “balanced” plan of spending cuts and tax increases, while the Republicans are being dogmatic and unreasonable. After all, who can argue with balance? It makes it seem like the alternative is falling over.
Let me state this as clearly as I can: A “spending cut” is when you spend less money than you did before. It’s not that hard to understand. Think about it: If your family has to cut spending, are you going to spend more, or less? It just couldn’t be any simpler.
Unless you’re in Washington. There, cutting spending means spending less than you were hoping to. That’s a very different thing. Think about it this way. If you get a 3 percent raise when you were expecting 5 percent, was that a pay cut? If your taxes go up 5 percent when you thought they would go up 10 percent, were your taxes cut? According to Democratic Party Newspeak, the answer is yes.
Enjoy the whole thing here.
Original Post: Jon Caldara » PPC
by Eddie | 1:27 pm, April 15, 2013
Often it’s very easy to get bogged down in a big education policy debate like Colorado’s SB 213 school finance reform proposal. Then along comes a Denver Post op-ed piece by a motivated citizen that exhales a breath of fresh air:
Colorado currently spends about $10,600 per student per year on K-12 education. You can get a pretty good private education for that. Sen. Johnston wants to increase school spending to nearly $12,000 per student. But without changing the design of the system, why should anyone expect different results?
Let’s stop funding the education establishment and instead fund parents and children. In a state-regulated environment, let’s give that $10,000 to parents for each child they have in school and let them decide how and where the money used to educate their children should be spent.
The author is Littleton’s own John Conlin, founder of the small nonprofit activist group End the Education Plantation. True fans may recall his appearance several months ago in an on-air interview with my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow.
Conlin has shown a strong and singular focus on ensuring K-12 dollars are directed by the family to follow the student. A bold idea that also happens to be almost a world apart from the tepid “reforms” in SB 213, it reminds me of how Arizona has led the way in offering “Empowerment Scholarship Accounts” to a growing number of students, starting with special-needs kids like Jordan Visser:
Kind of takes you back to the stories of a couple other students — one from Arizona and one from our own Douglas County — in making a stronger case for expanded school choice. Don’t you agree?
SB 213 has a good chance of passing through the legislature only with Democratic Party support and the governor’s signature. Of course, none of the actual policies go into effect without the billion-dollar tax increase, which we don’t even know what it will look like yet. So as the process keeps moving forward, Coloradans have to ask:
Do we want to continue rewarding the current power structures, even when they fail, or do we want to empower the students who receive the education? Talk about a radical change… and a true breath of fresh air.
Original Post: Ed is Watching
by amy | 11:53 am, April 15, 2013
The impact of SB 252, a bill to raise the renewable mandate on rural electric cooperatives, will be devastating to rural Colorado according to Dr. Roger Bezdek, Founder and President of Management Information Services, Inc. Bezdek released a report titled “The Economic and Jobs Impact of the Proposed Colorado RES” that predicts that, if passed, SB 252 will raise significantly the state’s unemployment rate and electric rates, which directly contradicts what bill sponsors Senate President John Morse and Senator Gail Schwartz have been arguing.
According to Bezdek’s report:
- At present, Colorado’s unemployment rate is below the U.S. average.
- With the RES, the state’s unemployment rate would increase to about 15% above the U.S. average.
- However, job losses resulting from the RES, would be largely concentrated in the predominately rural areas served by the electric coops – many of which are already suffering economically.
- The unemployment rate in these areas would increase substantially and would be more than 1/3 higher than the state average and more than 50% higher than the national unemployment rate.
- At present, Colorado’s average electric rate is below the U.S. average.
- With the RES, the state’s overall average would increase to above the U.S. average.
- However, with the RES, the average rate to the predominately rural customers served by the electric coops would increase significantly and would be about 14% higher than the national average.
Bezdek draws on 30 years of experience in “research and management in the energy, utility, environmental, and regulatory areas, serving in private industry, academia and the federal government” and provides a grim forecast for those co-op members living on a fixed income. They will see their residential rates go up $20 per month.
Sure seems like a war on rural Colorado.
Original Post: Energy Policy Center
by Rossputin | 9:37 pm, April 14, 2013
I don’t know what it will look like in the morning, but gold and silver are following their massive Friday sell-offs with more massive selling on Sunday evening.
Gold is down about $58 from Friday’s close as I write this (almost 4%), to $1443. It closed Thursday around $1560. So down about 7.5% in less than two trading days.
Silver is down $1.65 from Friday’s to $24.65. (6.3%) It closed Thursday around $27.60. So down almost 11% in less than two trading days.
By any normal metric, these metals have crashed. If these were the stock market, they would rank among the sharpest 2-day crashes in history. Not counting the crash of 1929, I think only 1987 would be bigger than silver’s crash, though I’m not 100% sure.
Here’s one interesting story. The summary: Near-legendary silver investor Eric Sprott has been selling large quantities of his own silver trust, and he says that he’s using some of the money ” to buy shares in silver mining companies, which he believes will outperform the metal itself on the next rally.”
One thing which I think is very interesting in the market is that while oil is also going down, this sort of selling would normally accompany a big rise in the USD and a big sell-off in stocks, but that’s not happening. (There’s been a very slight rise in the USD over the past day or two and slight selling in the stock market.)
What this says to me is that the selling is about two things: First, fundamental issues: fear of a marginal global slowdown, but mostly a slowdown in China. And fear that Cyprus, and then other European weaklings might need to sell gold reserves.
Second, and this is really what is happening today, there are massive margin calls in silver and gold and anticipation that the public is getting washed out of the SLV and GLD ETFs, causing massive selling pressure in the spot and futures markets. These redemptions cause further margin calls among the investors with the weak hands, and it snowballs until the public is out and/or those who are short jump in and cover. But the weak public is much bigger and the short pros. Furthermore, there are fast-money traders who simply follow momentum, and will be selling just because it seems like the path of least resistance.
One reason I think this second issue is the key to current trading is that base metals, which followed gold and silver down pretty closely in percentage terms on Friday are down much less (but still down) on Sunday night, with lead and zinc each down less than 1%, and copper just over 1%. The public is not in base metals, so are not being panicked and margin-called out of those metals.
For those (like me) who have any investment exposure to precious metals, the past few months have been very bad, with the past few days being a true disaster. I wonder how people like Glenn Beck, who advertise aggressively for gold-selling firms on their radio shows, will feel as they read these tea leaves. I’m sure Mr. Beck’s money is where his mouth is, and I’m not suggesting that he’s hawking something he doesn’t believe in. I’m simply saying that when you hear ads for any financial asset all over TV and radio, it’s only a matter of time until that asset crashes. The most surprising thing about the metals is that they didn’t crash sooner.
All that said, I imagine we’re close to a bottom in these things, especially silver. But catching a falling commodity is at least as dangerous as catching a falling knife.
Original Post: Rossputin.com
by Eddie | 11:05 am, April 12, 2013
For those who long have rolled up their sleeves to try to improve student learning, the cause of urban high school reform remains one of the most daunting tasks. Even in areas where the most concentrated and sustained efforts at reform have taken place, the promising results have been very limited. Enter a brand new report by A-Plus Denver, titled Denver and Aurora High Schools: Crisis and Opportunity.
Author Sari Levy gathered and analyzed student performance data from Colorado’s two large urban school districts, and the picture painted is not a very rosy one:
- Based on ACT test scores, “about a third of students in [Denver Public Schools] and [Aurora Public Schools] would not qualify for basic military service”
- On a day when Colorado college graduates are encouraged to show off their alma mater, it’s disheartening to see the rates of DPS and APS students needing college remediation are steady or rising
- Denver’s level of success on Advanced Placement (AP) courses lags well below the national average
- In a number of DPS schools, students in poverty have just above a zero chance of earning a 24 or higher on the ACT, which would place them at the average of their peers who will earn a 4-year college degree
- Average ACT scores across Denver and Aurora remained flat from 2008 to 2012
The bright spot Levy points out is the expanding network of Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) charter high schools, an unsurprising result and a recurring theme. According to the report, DSST is alone among DPS schools with more than 15% of poor students earning at least a 24 on the ACT, and no poor students at or below the “basic literacy” score of 14.
In his letter introducing the report, A-Plus Denver executive director Van Schoales puts in perspective the recent history of Denver’s urban high school reform efforts:
As spring arrives in 2013, despite at least six commissions over the past decade, most recommendations have been ignored, dismissed, or implemented halfheartedly. In fairness to schools and district leaders, many of the recommendations were so vague that it is hard to know if they were implemented or not. CAP4K, which has had the most detail and political power behind it, has seen many of its timelines extended. Even the Gates Foundation, which saw more success in Colorado than in most other states, eventually withdrew from the task of tackling the high school problem.
The report recommends a host of ideas for positive changes in urban high schools. Many of them are worthy options. But I’d also like to request a new state-level policy that would help give greater hope for success to a number of students trapped in tough school environments. I’m talking about a scholarship tax credit program for Colorado.
Give students more choice by reducing tax bills for donations made to organizations like ACE Scholarships–donations that make a real difference in the lives of many students. Tax credits would make more K-12 scholarships available. If Colorado were to adopt such a program, as a dozen other states already have done, evidence strongly suggests it would have the added benefit of giving nearby public schools greater incentive to improve.
Talk about a win-win solution. K-12 scholarship tax credits wouldn’t provide the “magical silver bullet” solution to all the challenges outlined in the new A-Plus Denver report, but it gives every sign of shifting the needle significantly in the right direction. We certainly can’t wait another 10 years.
Original Post: Ed is Watching
by Mike Krause | 10:56 am, April 12, 2013
Friday night means public affairs tv with the Independence Institute, so set your TiVO to wonk. First at 8:00, catch research director David Kopel on Colorado Inside Out. Then stay tuned for Devil’s Advocate at 8:30 as guest host Ben DeGrow is joined by Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at American Enterprise Institute and Douglas County School District Superintendent Elizabeth Celania-Fagen to discuss the importance of strong leadership in bringing about effective education reform. The excitement starts tonight at 8:00 on Colorado Public Television 12. You can find your local CPT12 channel by zip code here.
Original Post: Jon Caldara » PPC
Praise for PPC From Our Lefty "Fan"
- "Zany-ass bombast-entertainment...Hackneyed weirdo communist pseudo-nostalgia" --Alan Franklin, ProgressNow
PPC Training for Activists
UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
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