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By JGillman, Section News
I said no to fireworks on the fourth.
As a county commissioner, last year I voted with the prevailing side for Grand Traverse County to NOT contribute funds to the local fireworks displays on independence day. While a couple of those who wanted to do so cried "unpatriotic", the decision was that we would not use taxpayer funds for the light and noise show so often associated with July 4 activities.
It really wasn't that difficult.
Don't get me wrong. I like fireworks too. and of course the cost was minimal. A few thousand dollars to help subsidize an operation that had been somewhat disrupted by a change in a local veterans organization that was till then handling the project's financials, doesn't seem like a great burden. However, added to it were the contributions from local townships, and other govt agencies, all of which must first take from the citizens by force, to make such generous entertainment available. The local non profit which brought it before our board, had considerable means to make its own contributions, yet had not even pledged a single penny to the affair at that point.
Why bother when government will foot the bill, right? The taxpayers will be only paying pennies. What great entertainment! Caesar, keep us happy!!!
Next thing we might be funding would be large venue amphitheaters with large carnivore elements.
In the end however, some business owners (along with a few of those govt agencies) decided to step up to the plate. Sponsorships rolled in, and July 4th festivities were saved!
Imagine that. (continued below the fold)
(9 comments, 847 words in story) Full Story
Feel like playing conscience?
How often to lawmakers have a chance to be legitimate patriotic heroes?
Last week we talked about the ridiculous new "Patriot Taxes" passed by [ahem..] House Republicans.
By way of a refresher, the supposed conservative caucus passed House Bill 4293, a bill that sponsors would have us believe is designed to open the door for more fireworks here in the state of Michigan. What sponsors didn't tell you, and were hoping you'd never find out, is that they loaded the bill up with FOUR NEW TAXES on patriotism.
They doubled the sales tax, imposed giant new taxes on businesses selling fireworks, imposed new transfer taxes on "licenses" to sell the fireworks.
And, they included language opening the door for and encouraging local city, township and village governments to impose their own taxes on fireworks without including any limits on the new local taxes whatsoever!
Only 8 of 63 House GOPers voted NO on these new taxes, a shameful showing for even the most milquetoast "Republican" caucus.
(2 comments, 374 words in story) Full Story
A friend pointed this out and I thought I would chime in.
You can't make this stuff up, and if you could, who would believe you? If you aren't already sitting down, you might want to pull up a chair. This one's absolutely ghastly. I know, that's fitting, given the season, but the real trick isn't being played on Halloween--it's being played on the 4th of July, patriotism and taxpayers. What's more, it's being played on each of us by some of our ghoulish comrades, the Republicans.
As a Michigander, you're likely aware that current state law imposes some pretty serious restrictions on the type of fireworks we can purchase. If it fires out of a bottle, soars through the air, or explodes, its pretty illegal. Sure, there's a public safety argument, but there's a bigger liberty argument which is why dollars to donuts, if you're a regular reader of this site you're probably also a proponent of more freedom, not less.
It's that truth that makes what House Republicans did last week that much more frightening. Last week the GOP controlled House of Representatives approved House Bill 4293, a bill that sponsors would have us believe is designed to open the door for more fireworks here in the state of Michigan. What sponsors don't tell you, and were hoping you'd never find out, is that they loaded the bill up with FOUR NEW TAXES. FOUR. NEW TAXES.
Michigan Republicans in the legislature are literally taxing patriotism.
(5 comments, 754 words in story) Full Story
Its 11:36 on the 3rd of July.
My guess is so many folks are so excited by the thought of Independence Day, that they cannot keep the fireworks quiet for one more day. (Its still noisy outside)
I feel that way about the upcoming freedom to work law in Michigan. I could hardly withhold my commentary on the issue and the grass roots effort I was watching develop for the last couple of months. These folks were doing more than talk about it, they were planning leaves from their secure jobs, and putting their lives on hold for a better state to work and raise a family in.
How could a person ignore THAT?
This weekend, the Michigan Freedom To Work coalition has been collecting a few bucks to help keep the lights on, and maybe do a little educational advertising while the convincing of the last couple fence sitters goes on. If you can, drop a couple of bucks their way. Click on the logo and it will take you to the donation page. All major credit cards accepted.
And have a great Independence day.
And if you want to come up here on the sixth, that would be nice too.
(1 comment) Comments >>
The April 15 tea party was an amazing experience as 5,000 patriots gathered at our state Capitol in Lansing.
As the co-organizer of the April 15th Tea party I am being asked,"What's Next?"...
(136 words in story) Full Story
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