Cary backs off IRV

One reason I find  local government so interesting is that you sometimes can’t predict what they’ll do. The Cary Town Council held a public hearing on Instant Runoff Voting last night. More than a dozen town citizens spoke in favor of continuing the pilot program.

After a long and I though rather thoughtful discussion, in which several council members commented that the public supported IRV, the council voted to  discontinue the pilot and change the town’s voting system to a “non-partisan plurality.” This means one election in October, most-votes-wins, even if the voter has well below a majority.

Rather than taking another step toward improving the electoral system, the council took a step back.

Bless her heart

As Gov. Bev Perdue was entering the General Assembly for the State of the State Address, I heard her referred to as “Her Excellency” at least three times. That brought to mind a quote from Justice William Douglas: “Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? ”

When she got to the podium to begin her speech,  Gov. Perdue quieted the applause by saying, “All right y’all, that’s enough. Let’s get down to business.”  Good for her. I’ll admit, this reformed Yankee is taken by her Southern Belle, down-home words. Sometimes I have to refer to my Yankee-Southern Dictionary, though. (Just to be sure, I looked up “eat the seed corn.”

On the other hand, some things “Her Excellency” says I’m no so sure about. When she said “No child has permission to drop out of school in North Carolina and no teacher has permission to give up on a student. No parent has a free pass from their responsibility to be fully involved in their child’s education” I thought to myself, “bless her heart, she wants the State to be a Great Grandmother.”

Lawyers say the darndest things

Bernard Madof will plead guilty to 11 felonies and the 70-year old could be sentenced to 150 years in jail.  But Jerry Reisman, the lawyer for the people he ripped off, said, “”I will tell you my clients are outraged by his being able to escape with a guilty plea.”

What do they want? Make Madof their indentured servant for life? Put him in the stocks in downtown Raleigh?

Legislative limbo

Several  bills introduced into this session of the General Assembly have already been killed. The General Assembly’s Grand Pubah, Marc Basnight, consigned them to Legislative Limbo, otherwise know as the Ways & Means Committee. For those not conversant in “New Speak,” the committee has neither quality, hasn’t met since 2001, and is chaired by a  Basnight Sub-Pubah, Charlie Dannelly.

The bills terminated in vitro include S156, supposedly designed to limit session terms by cutting off legislators per diem after a set number of days and  S87,  the Taxpayer’s Protection Act, which would have put a constitutional amendment setting limits on state spending to a vote of the people.

In all honesty, I have to admit I’m glad some bills were committed to any early grave, including the attempt to extend the legislators terms of office (S118/119) and the New Speak-named S272 Defense of Marriage Act.

State of the State

LPNC news release

Libertarians applaud Gov. Perdue’s call to reduce, cut state programs

RALEIGH (March 9) — Governor Bev Perdue’s first address to the General Assembly contained no surprises, as predicted, but North Carolina Libertarians were pleased to hear some familiar themes in the speech.

“We applaud Governor Perdue’s tough statement that she will reduce and cut state programs,” said Barbara Howe, state party chair. “We’re glad she finally is on board with what Libertarians have been saying all along and anxiously await to see if she has muscle behind her decision to cut the fat.”

Libertarians were slightly disappointed that the only specific action Governor Perdue promised was to drive a truck to South Carolina to pick up Federal recovery funds.

“The governor is an educated woman, so I’m sure she realizes there’s no ‘pot at the end of the rainbow.’ Those funds are taxpayer funds from her fellow North Carolinians and all Americans.”

But Libertarians were hearten to hear the governor say that “cutting the fat” didn’t go far enough and that the budget she’ll present next week will reduce and cut state government programs and services the state simply cannot afford. “We can’t wait to see that budget,” Howe said.

Governor Perdue’s call to “stand up to the sweet seductions of special interests, the temptations of politically popular pork barrel spending, and end the practice of back room dealing” also echoed Libertarian values.

The governor said that education is the engine that drives the economy, is essential for economic recovery and would not be sacrificed. “We hope that means she’ll be open to genuine ‘out of the box thinking’ to improve our educational system,” Howe said.

For example, the governor said no parent has a free pass from the responsibility to be fully involved in their child’s education. “Libertarians would add that this means parents should have authority to school their children as they see fit — for example at home or in charter or private schools,” Howe said.

Old posts

This are the posts I could retrieve and restore, with the original posting date to the best of my knowledge:

Divorce the state from marriage

Orinally posted Feb. 2009

As a Catholic, it pains me when Church leaders get diverted by issues manufactured by politicians to increase their power. “The desire to rule is the beginning of all heresies.” (St. John Chrysostom). The “Marriage Amendment,” clearly intended to discriminate against a group of people, betrays the Church’s long-standing commitment to social justice.

As a libertarian, it appalls me when a religious or political leader proposes laws revoking any God-given right, and betraying the fundamental American principle that all persons are created equal.

Government has no right to “license” or give permission for marriage. Marriage is a sacred undertaking, a sacrament, instituted between two persons, before God — not the State. Mary and Joseph did not have a marriage license. Martha and George Washington did not have a marriage license.

An interesting historical note: States began issuing marriage permits as a way to prevent interracial marriage, just as they introduced gun permits to stop African-Americans from using guns to resist oppression.

Continue reading »

Oh no, Mr. Bill

Over the weekend Liberty Point  experienced a catastrophic failure. Alright, what really happened was that I messed up while updating the site. As a result, I have lost all of my stuff.  And I am not techie enough to figure out how to restore the backup I am made.

Lesson learned. From now on, I will back up my posts and pages in a format I can understand, on another blog. Meanwhile, I am in the process of rebuilding the pages. I have text copies of some of the posts, so I will repost them as a “best of” item.