NO MORE BS: What can I Do?

ToolsThe most commonly asked question comes with the most straightforward answers.  This article focuses on providing practical actions anyone can do to help move any democratic society into more freedom, smaller government, and increased liberty for all.  It cannot be stressed enough, act!  Take purposeful action, repeat, and then do it all over again.

  1. The most powerful action you can personally take, get informed! The news is biased; the news has always been biased and will continue to be biased.  Corporate news exists to sell advertising, not report the news!  Hence, getting informed means more than simply reading a newspaper, watching the news, listening to talking heads, the radio, etc.  Getting informed requires asking questions and demanding answers!  Getting informed is not passive but active and requires your full attention.Beauty of Literature
  2. Read! Pick up a book.  Use the library, eBooks, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc. but read.  Heck, you can even get books on tape, CD, and an application on a smartphone.  The idea is to increase your literacy levels.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
      • Herman Wouk – Winds of War, and War and Remembrance – Excellent reads both books, discussing WWII, families, and provides a solid historical setting for the story. As a point of fact, I recommend Herman Wouk as an incredible author, and all of his books have been electrifying and inspiring.
      • Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America – Incredible book, well worth investigating to understand the underpinnings between democracy and a Republic.
      • Albert Camus – The Plague – You will not like this book about a pandemic. Still, it is an essential read and discusses issues regarding government in society, leadership, stress, and much more—a great read, but not a pleasant trip through roses and lollipops.
      • The US Constitution and US Bill of Rights – Both are easily read, easily understood, and should be read by everyone.
      • Edward Gibson – History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Feeling like a powerful reader, want to know more about the only other long-lasting Republic in the world, desiring to understand why Rome died, this is the book you need. You might not like all of the book, but it is a pattern that we can observe occurring right now in front of our eyes in America and every democratic society across the globe.
      • Henry Ketcham – The Life of Abraham Lincoln. I love this book!
      • Thomas Paine – Common Sense – Want to know why America is in such dangerous waters? This book has a lot of answers.  Common sense is what is needed now.
      • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison – The Federalist Papers – Writings on America’s founding. Excellent source for how the people should control the government.

Freedom's LightThese suggestions, many were free or very low cost, when I went exploring looking for books for my first iPad (Gen 1).  The principal point, read!  Discover literature!  Write about what you discover, and then discuss what you discover.  The world needs literate citizens voting smarter.

  1. Vote! Yes, I want you to vote!  I do not care who is running, like/dislike, political party, criminal records, etc. if you have the legal ability to vote, use that power, even if all you do is look at the candidates and leave the ballot empty, you showed up, you exercised your rights, and you were part of the process.  VOTE!Boris & Natasha
      • My wife hates it when I vote for Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Mighty Mouse, Bullwinkle, Rocky J. Squirrel, or even myself as a write-in candidate. She thinks I have wasted my vote.  We have this discussion every single time a chance to vote occurs.  I do not mind!
      • I refuse to leave a ballot blank, for I know not what hooligan will mark the ballot. Hence, I vote.  Many times not for the candidates running for I have weighed them, measured them, and found them wanting!
      • When Romney ran against Obama, I am proud to say I wrote myself in and voted for me! Neither candidate had won my vote.  Winning my vote and winning your vote should be hard work, not purchased with government goodies, not tied to a political lie regarding reduced healthcare costs, and certainly not tied to illegal actions like DREAMERS.
  2. Look locally. Who is your mayor?  What is the state of your city/town budget?  How well is your community prepared for a natural disaster?  Who is on the city/town council?  Who is on the County Board of directors?  How well prepared for a disaster is your county?  Does your county budget the tax money they collect?  Who runs the election office?  How well are they doing their jobs?  What about unfunded liabilities at the city/town and county levels?
  3. School board! While looking locally, do not forget the school board!  These politicians skate too often and take zero responsibility for their failures, blaming teachers in the classroom for policies set at the school board level.  Who is on your school board?  How well do they budget?  How many unfunded liabilities do they have?
  4. State government. Know it, learn it, and fix it!

The Duty of AmericansA quick government hierarchy lesson.  The city/town government is supposed to protect you from the government overreach of the county.  The county government is expected to protect you and your rights from the government overreach of the state.  The state has expectations, rights, and powers specific to protect you, the individual citizen, from the Federal Government’s abuses.  The problem is, local politicians have been negligent in their duties, taking the example of the Federal Government, and made your life a living disaster!

In this, the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America, you, me, the individual citizens of this Republic hold all the rights and privileges not expressly set apart for the use of government.  What can you do to help change this paradigm; everything!  Simply realize you are in charge and deny your consent to those abusing your rights, liberties, and freedoms.  That is what the “consent of the governed” is all about.  The government abuses you; stop consenting to the powers of the government.  There are processes and laws that support you and your right to refuse your consent.

LinkedIn ImageI am not talking about sedition, treason, or lawlessness.  I am talking about standing up and telling the government they do not have your consent to govern!  Your responsibility is to learn and then act.  You have been intentionally led to believe a falsehood and purposefully programmed by K-12 Education to be an illiterate drone, good for nothing but taking orders and doing what you are told.  You have been abused; I have been abused by the government and its functionaries, the media, and the other groups working in conjunction to oppress Americans’ heart and soul!

Seize a “Liberty First” mentality, and let’s rebuild the government in fear of “We the People!”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

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NO MORE BS – Local Elections: The Key

DutySeveral years back, on a conservative social media site, I discussed the importance of elections with a person.  Their position was that the only elections that mattered were Federal elections, as these are the only elections that the liberal leftists have the power to steal freedoms.  I begged to differ then, and I continue to maintain that local elections are more critical, and the most important elections are mayoral and school board elections.  All I ask here is to explain; if you disagree, please let’s discuss your thoughts openly; just hear me out, please.

When it comes to taxes, the most noticeable are those experienced locally, Gas Tax, Property Tax, Sales Tax, etc. The local additions to taxes make the national taxes so onerous to pay, but these taxes are all decided by your neighbors and local elections.  For example, Phoenix, Arizona, has an 8.6% sales tax, of which 5.6% belongs to the state, and 0.7% belongs to Maricopa County, leaving 2.3% of every penny of purchased goods taxed by local officials.  This is just the sales tax, not including all the other government fees, which are taxes, but the government couches these as fees, that oddly enough, sales tax is charged.

Theres moreWhen measuring elections, and based solely upon taxes, the more critical election is the local election for city and county offices.  I spent four years studying the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) while residing in Albuquerque, NM.  What I found shocked, amazed, frightened, and blew my mind.  I do not know your school districts; however, I would presume many of the same problems found in APS are alive and well in your school district.  Hence, APS is used here as a warning and a proof of concept that local elections have more dramatic consequences than Federal Elections.

The residential property tax rate in Albuquerque, NM., is 1.05%. With a total grant budget of $1.6 Billion, no numbers have been found for the amount of tax revenue APS is handed; the school district is undoubtedly well funded.  From the 2018-2019 school survey on APS performance, we find a common theme from the citizens to the APS school district, reduce administration costs.  The answer from APS school administrators was to “Increase Counselors, Social Workers, Security, and other staff to support our student’s mental and physical health … Increase Custodians across the schools [sic].”  The Albuquerque Journal reports that APS is the lead agency for taking tax dollar revenues.  With Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque, plus property taxes, all collected at ridiculous rates, APS must be getting a significant chunk of revenue. Still, APS demands more money, “For the children.”

ProblemsAn Educational Assistant (EA; Teacher’s Aide) was called upon to be a substitute teacher in Seventh Grade math; because APS is bereft of substitute teachers and is experiencing a teacher drought.  The EA is not a licensed substitute teacher; thus, when asked how this is legal to have an EA substituting outside her legally licensed work and expertise, she said she “didn’t know” and then acknowledged this is standard practice.  The EA further elaborated that when she asked for a substitute teacher because her teacher was out or off, she had a very low probability of ever getting a licensed substitute teacher and generally had to teach the class, with no extra money for doing extra work.  The EA has worked in four other states in the US as an Educational Assistant/Teacher’s Aide and has never been licensed to be a substitute teacher; yet, somehow, in APS, she can be regularly called upon to substitute teach.

Scared Eyes!In discussing teacher performance, another classic APS child abuse issue was concerned, all while a good teacher is being forced out of her position.  Because of the teacher drought, APS is experiencing, and due to reduced registrations in a bilingual education school, an illiterate teacher in both Spanish and English, who had to pass a state-mandated test to get the license to teach bilingual students, is going to keep her job for another year.  This intellectually challenged teacher has been reported to APS more than a dozen times for swearing, insulting, and not being able to teach. Still, this teacher was just offered a full-time position to teach bilingual students when she cannot speak/read/write in either English or Spanish at an academically acceptable level.  Due to falling registrations, a Kindergarten teacher, who was the last one hired at this school, is being terminated.  The teacher being released is a stellar teacher, works hard, is well-liked by staff, parents, and students.  Since joining APS, this phenomenal teacher has been assigned to “catch” those students from the most impoverished homes and get them up to speed academically.  As reported by all who know this teacher, she is exemplary in her assigned duties, fully 180-degrees separate from the illiterate teacher who landed her job under shady circumstances or nepotism.  Yet the bad teacher is being kept and the good discharged.

The EA discussed above was called to substitute teach, spent 90-minutes after work writing notes to the regular teacher, and will not be reimbursed for her extra time.  Please note, this is 90-minutes on top of her regularly scheduled, non-paid, mandatory overtime.  Thus, every day this EA loses 90-minutes of pay at the end of the day and between 60 and 90 minutes at the start of the day, with no reimbursement to cover this employer-mandated time.  With a regular school year average of 38-weeks, 5-days per week average worked, and roughly 150-minutes per day unpaid, an average EA salary of $15,116.50 ($9.95 per hour), this EA is losing approximately $2,836.70 each school year

Wasting TimeDuring the summer of 2019, for the first time in 15-years, APS full-time licensed teachers received a pay raise.  Not for the first time in 15-years, the teachers saw a slew of additional requirements, mandates, and reductions in alternative licensure to “pay” for the teacher pay raise.  All while the school board received yet another pay increase.  The voters have already told APS NO on a slew of tax increases and bond sale schemes, yet, in November 2019, APS was trying again to raise taxes, raise money, and raise administrator salaries.

Detective 4Understanding checkpoint, we have more than one instance of a teacher unable to perform their duties and verbally abusing students.  We have a functionally illiterate teacher who landed her position based on either shady circumstances or through nepotism. We have a recorded phenomenal teacher being summarily discharged during a teacher drought.  We have citizens, parents, and a concerned community begging for reduced administration, where APS then responds they are increasing administration.  Then we have non-licensed staff forced to work outside their licensure because the administration cannot obtain substitute teachers. Plus, the teaching staff is forced to work extra hours without proper compensation.

Where are the more essential elections to focus upon, Federal or City/County/State?  The local elections strip more money and freedoms from a person than the federal elections.  The local elections represent a template of how national elections are stolen.  The provincial election process is where direct and visible harm comes to the citizen.  Yet, some people will only vote in federal elections.

If the BS government throws at the people is ever to be culled, we the citizens need first to get control and a positive handle upon the local elections.  Make the school board election process more transparent and more responsible to the community they serve.  These are your neighbors causing you pain, cheating (abusing) your children of their educational opportunities, and costing you thousands of dollars in tax revenues.  The local teacher you meet to discuss your child is stuck in a proverbial maelstrom. The administrators are dictating, the student doesn’t understand, the teacher does not have time to explain, and your child is left behind and abused, all because of how the school board operates!

Blue Money BurningAPS holds two titles for performance, APS is the largest school district in New Mexico, and APS has the worst-performing students academically.  Why?  Not because there are insufficient funds to operate, but because of the elected leaders and the labor unions interfering with how teachers teach!  Annually, America spends, per education data.org, on K-12 schools $612.7 billion, or $12,612 per pupil. Federal, state, and local governments spend $720.9 billion, or $14,840 per pupil, to fund K-12 public education.  Where does the money spent per student go; the United States spends a higher percentage on non-teaching educational staff, including school administrators.

Based solely upon the school board performance, what elections are more critical federal or local?  It would be best if you decided this for yourself.  As for me, I am going to continue paying more attention to the local elections, spending time getting to know candidates running for local offices, judgeships, school boards, mayor, county board, sheriff, and dog catcher, because at the end of the day these are my neighbors. They need to be called out for government malfeasance, theft, and child abuse!  I believe that local elections can win or lose the country long before a president takes office.

Per a collection of articles published by Forbes.com, California is the US State with the most out of control debt at $248.67 Billion in liabilities, with $53.05 Billion in assets, or five times more debt than it can pay off if forced into receivership.  Who holds that debt remains a murky question due to how each state calculates their debt, who they sell bonds to, and other debt financing options?  What is clear is that too often, the states with the highest debt have the most out of control spenders in elected offices.  Want an eye-opening experience?  Look up your city/town/county debt as a portion of the state debt, and ask the elected officials who hold those debt markers?  If that politician can even give you a straight and intelligible answer, you are doing better than every other city/town/county in America.

Boris & NatashaPlease, pay closer attention to who is running for public office at all levels of government.  But, when faced with critical resource shortages, pay more immediate attention to local elections.  By careful design, many local elections have been purposefully made to appear inconsequential, not worth investing your time, and of such extreme unimportance that voting is considered a waste of time.  But, from studying history, I know these are the elections where the most attention needs to be paid, and time invested in preventing government overreach, tax burden increases, and loss of rights and liberties.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.