Monday, March 31, 2008

Can I pick my jaw up now?

DISD (of which we're NOT a part, thank goodness) has just put forward a bond package they want the voters to approve.

It's worth $1.35 billion.


With a B.


I can't imagine it. With a 50 year repayment schedule, that's still $27,000,000 a year not counting interest. They have 158,126 students enrolled according to their fact sheet. While I realize they have to basically dynamite the old infrastructure of the former Wilmer-Hutchins ISD, this bond package is in excess of their annual operating budget. They want to almost double their current bonded indebtedness.

This strikes me as monumentally stupid.

At least Garland isn't alone in doing it with debt. It seems that the City of Garland and DISD need to wean themselves away from debt. It may take decades. Maybe even a century, but something has got to be done because someone is going to have to pay for this, and I don't want it to be my kids or grandkids.


Once again, I endorse Randy Dunning for State Rep and Lowell Cannaday for Sheriff.

Early voting is Monday-Friday only, from 7 am to 7 pm each day.

Early Voting Locations

Election day voting for our precinct will be at Wallace Ethridge Elementary School, 2301 Sam Houston Dr. in Garland. The easiest way to get there is to take Beltline east from Shiloh, then go south on Sam Houston to get there.

Please let me know if you need a ride or anything like that to get to the polls.

More for the community calendar

The Naaman Forest High School Sterling Stars spring show will be 7 p.m. Saturdayat the school, 4843 Naaman Forest Blvd. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door for adults, $5 in advance and $10 at the door for students. For more information, call Colette Boyd at 972-530-5815.

I'm not the only one who likes Lowell Cannaday

Turns out the people who would work for him would like him too!

An Attaboy to the GPD

Garland city worker, two others arrested in insurance fraud case

Platform Changes and Resolution passed by the SD16 Convention

Thanks for coming to the SD16 Convention on Saturday!

Here is a list of all the platform changes and the resolution passed by the Convention.

Bolded text indicates the section of the platform and title of the plank. Underlined text indicates text added to the plank. Text that is stricken through indicates deletion from the platform. Plain text indicates no change to the platform. Italicized text indicates either explanatory notes or words in a foreign language.

Preserving American Freedom

Limiting the Expanse of Government Power

Preserving National Security - We believe terrorism is the greatest threat to international peace and to the safety of our own citizens. The Republican Party of Texas asserts its opposition to terrorism, but opposes any means of fighting it which necessarily comes at the expense of the liberty and privacy of the People of Texas. We affirm our support for the doctrine stated by our founding fathers that there is no inherent conflict between Security and Liberty, and to trade one for the other is to lose both. We affirm our support for the core conservative Republican principles of a free society that makes America great, including but not limited to freedom of speech, religion, expression, and petition; freedom against self-incrimination and prohibition of torture under any name; Habeas Corpus and due process; and the necessity of valid, specific, public warrants for all searches and seizures executed against the People by the Government. We therefore urge:

1. our national leadership, within the limits of protecting the Constitutional rights of American citizens, to wage war on terrorists who threaten the United States and its citizens swiftly, deliberately, and decisively wherever such terrorists are found.

2. Congress to immediately cut all foreign aid to any nation threatening our citizens and providing aid or comfort to terrorist organizations or providing arms to other nations hostile to the United States.

3. the Administration to set known standards of consequences and reprisals for terrorist activities and to publicly support other nations in their efforts to fight terrorists.

4. Acceptance of HR 3216 (the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2007), as provided for in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States

4. 5. reasonable use of profiling as permitted by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution to protect American lives and property.

5. 6. full investigation and prosecution of any material breaches in national security.

6. 7. review and revision of those portions recission of the USA Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, and related executive and military orders and directives that erode constitutional rights and essential liberties of citizens.,

8. that the national ID card movement in any form, be rejected and all legislation, pending or passed relating to the national ID card, be rescinded.

Preserving American Freedom

Restoring Integrity to Our Elections

Voter Registration - We support needed legislation to restore integrity to the voter registration rolls and to reduce voter fraud. Furthermore, we support:

1. repeal of all Motor Voter laws;

2. re–registering voters every four years;

3. requiring first time registrants to produce photo identification;

4. the checking and removal from the voter rolls all jurors disqualified because of non-citizenship;

4. 5. proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application;

5. 6. retention of the 30-day registration deadline; and

6. 7. provide a federal or state government issued photo ID at the time of in person voting.

(new plank) Voter Fraud - We the Republican Party, call for a human-readable paper trail for each ballot cast to enable accurate recounts and ensure a check and balance system, restoring integrity to the voting process.

Preserving American Freedom

Honoring the Symbols of Our American Heritage

American English – We support the immediate adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States of America. While encouraging fluency in additional languages by all citizens, no governmental entity shall require any agency, contractor, business, or individual to publish public documents in a language other than English. If Puerto Rico or any other territory becomes a state, we demand that it make English its sole official language.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Protecting Our Children

Parental Rights and Responsibilities - We believe that parental rights and responsibilities are inherent and protected by the United States Constitution. Local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or policies shall not be enacted that limit such rights in the rearing of both biological and adopted children, including: parental authority to discipline, choice of public or private education of children, parental right to observe their children’s public school classes, access to all materials distributed and made available to children at school, ensure parents must provide written permission for their children's participation or receipt of Planned Parenthood activities, training material, and literature, access to their children’s medical records, and parental notification or consent for any medical or surgical treatment including, but not limited to, contraception and abortion. We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which would transfer jurisdiction over parental rights and responsibilities to international bureaucracies. The Party directs that legislation be introduced in the United States Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would elevate parental rights from a “reserved right” to an “express provision” that is unalterable by treaty.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Assisting families to Self Sufficiency

Social Security - We support an orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax. We insist that Social Security benefits be non–taxable. To protect the Social Security System, its funds should not be co–mingled or spent with general revenues or invested in private or public corporate stock. We support Americans being allowed to purchase directly, and hold directly as part of their tax-deferred retirement and educational savings plans, United States Treasury obligations, personally managed investment accounts, and tax-free equities. Individuals, who qualify for Social Security benefits, including school teachers, should receive all of the benefits for which they are eligible without penalty. To protect freedom and privacy, government and private institutions should not require Social Security numbers as ID. Application for Social Security numbers should not be required before the age of consent. We support prompt passage of the Social Security Fairness Act (HR 82 and SB 206) by the US House and Senate.

Government–Sponsored Gambling - We continue to oppose government–sponsored gambling as a means of financing state government. Government–sponsored gambling has had a devastating impact on many Texas families. Moreover, we oppose any further legalization, government facilitation, or financial guarantees relating to any additional or new type of gambling including casino, riverboat, video lottery terminals (VLTs), slot machine, video keno, eight-liners, multi-state lotteries, and other games of chance including on Indian reservations. We support the repeal of the state lottery, and enforcement of existing laws and regulations related to gambling. Lastly, until the state lottery is repealed, we call for all proceeds from the Texas Lottery be specifically dedicated towards education and gambling addiction recovery. No funds currently or previously set aside, collected, mandated, and/or allocated by the State of Texas to fund primary, secondary, and community college educational programs in this State shall be reduced by Texas Lottery proceeds.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Empowering Families to Direct Their Health Care

Immunizations - We believe all adult citizens should have the legally protected right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves or their minor children without penalty or discrimination for refusing a vaccine. We further oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines. We oppose any medical record computer database or registry that would store personal identifiable records on citizens without their written consent.

Strengthening Families and Promoting a Freer Society

Educating Our Children

Bilingual Education – We demand the abolition of bilingual education as it currently exists in Texas. We call on the Legislature to repeal the changes to the Education Code made by the 80th Legislature's HB 2814 which establishes a pilot program for bilingual education. We believe that the best method is an “English Immersion Program.” The official instructional language of public schools from Pre-K to 12th grade shall be English. All students must pass recognized standard tests that verify each student’s English ability for their grade level before advancing.

(new plank) Public Higher Education Accountability – We support a system of accountability in Texas public universities. We support binding audits by the State Comptroller of all public universities and a complete review of the tuition deregulation law for the purpose of validating whether it is accomplishing its stated goal. We support subjecting public universities to review under the Sunset Commission in the same fashion as other state agencies. We also support online disclosure of expenditures by public universities, such as online check registers and searchable databases.

Promoting Individual Freedom and Personal Safety

Individual Freedom

Electronic Privacy – We believe all law-abiding citizens should be free from government surveillance of their electronic communications except in cases directly involving national security. This includes any government mandate of trap door encryption standards. Except for non-citizens, we further oppose any government effort to implement a national ID program, including federalization of driver’s licenses. We call for the repeal of the REAL ID Act and, barring that, blocking its implementation at both the state and federal levels.

(new plank) Employment Non-Discrimination Act – We oppose an employment non-discrimination act that would force anyone or any organization to employ people who practice things abhorrent to their beliefs and mission. We support the right to free association.

(new plank) Employer Infringement on 2nd Amendment – The party calls on the Legislature to commit to law that Employers in the State of Texas shall not prohibit individuals from keeping their Firearms within their locked vehicles while parked in the employer's parking lot(s) that are provided for employee parking under penalty of fine and payment of restitution to those affected. We encourage legislation that would hold the Employer liable for any personal injury or property damages incurred by the employee where the employee has been discouraged by the Employer. (Note: This was amended on the fly during the Convention, and the intent of the last phrase could probably be better expressed as “where the employee has been discouraged from practicing his 2nd Amendment rights by the Employer.”)

(new plank) State University Infringement on 2nd Amendment and CHL - The Party calls upon the legislature to commit to law that all State supported Universities and colleges (those receiving money or other types of support from the state), and other institutions of higher learning cannot prohibit or discourage individuals with Concealed Handgun License issued by, or recognized by, the State of Texas from exercising their concealed carry rights while on campus or grounds owned by the related institutions. We encourage legislation that would hold the University and responsible individuals liable for any personal injury or property damages incurred by the individual where the individual has been discouraged or deprived of their CHL rights by the university.

(new plank) Internet - We applaud and encourage the development and growth of the Internet as a source of news, information, and diverse opinion available to the People. Government should not regulate the Internet in any way that undermines its role as an open, free, and accessible public forum.

(new plank) Free Press - Freedom of the press being a paramount right in our nation's and our state's respective Bills of Rights, we urge governments at all levels and in every branch to remove all legal barriers to the development and maintenance of free, independent, and diverse media outlets, whether print, radio, television, or other.

(new plank) Boy Scouts of America – We recognize the incalculable positive contribution that the Boy Scouts of America has made to the United States, honor them for their commitment to character building in young men, and condemn any attempt by any organization to undermine, fundamentally change, force secular ideals on , or prohibit equal access to public facilities for the Boy Scouts of America.

Strengthening the Economy of Texas and America

Government Spending

Government Lobbying – We support legislation that opposes the direct or indirect hiring of lobbyists paid for by any tax dollars.

(new plank) Earmarks - We call upon all Senators and Representatives (a) to take appropriate action to block any bill containing earmarks, (b) to produce bills with wording that will not allow any earmarks to be added after a final vote is taken, and (c) to shepherd through the two houses of Congress changes in their procedures that will delete the practice of earmarking and any similar technique that allows spending without a consensus approval.

Strengthening the Economy of Texas and America

Tax Burden

Property Taxes - The Republican Party of Texas is in favor of abolishing property taxes. Until ad valorem taxes are abolished, we recommend that property valuations be fixed for a period of not less than three years following each revaluation. We believe that the Appraisal Boards should be elected by the people, and call for four board members to be elected by Commissioners Court precinct and one board member elected county-wide. We disapprove of retroactive property appraisal increases.

(new plank) Fuel Tax Usage - We support a state constitutional amendment that will mandate that all state vehicular fuel taxes be reserved and /or used for the building or repairing of public roads only.

Strengthening the Economy of Texas and America

(new section) Monetary Policy (All planks in this section are new)

Federal Reserve Notes - In accordance with Title 12 U.S.C. Section 411, we support that all federal reserve notes be redeemable for lawful money at the Treasury of the United States in Washington or at any Federal Reserve Bank.

Federal Reserve Act - We the Republican party of Texas call for the repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, the abolishment of the Federal Reserve System, and a return to a commodity-backed currency as soon as practical. We strongly discourage any further use of inflationary fiat currency.

Open Records – We the Republican Party of Texas call for the immediate publication to the People and the U.S. Congress of all records and data relating to the actions and decisions of the Federal Reserve Board, its related agencies, and the President's Working Group on Financial Markets.

Fractional Reserve – We the Republican Party of Texas call for the Federal Reserve and all member banks to immediately halt the inflationary practice of Fractional Reserve. All member banks must use only the lawful money or Federal Reserve Notes that are redeemable for lawful money as are allotted to them by the U.S. Treasury.

Eminent Domain – We the Republican Party of Texas call for the State of Texas and The United States to pay for all property they acquire through or by eminent domain in the Lawful Money of the United States.

Restoring American Sovereignty and Leadership


Legal Immigration - We believe that America has greatly benefited from immigrants who have legally come to this country to work and begin a new life reflecting American values and traditions.

We support:

1. systematic assimilation of legal immigrants into the American culture; baseline requirements for citizenship to include proficiency in the English language, study of American history and of the American form of government;

2. development of a practical, limited, and temporary worker program that does not serve as an automatic path to citizenship, to be implemented only after the national borders are secured;

3. firm and consistent enforcement of all existing immigration laws;

4. an immediate end to the practice of “chain migration”;

5. aggressive locating and deporting of aliens who have overstayed their visas or otherwise violated U. S. law;

6. establishing immigration quotas at levels that are sufficient to meet America’s needs;

7. an immediate end to the practice of allowing aliens “adjust status” by requiring them to “adjust” in the U.S. Embassy of their home country; and further, a waiver of the unlawful presence inadmissibility for those illegal aliens who register on their return trip to their home country while they legally wait for an immigrant visa.

8. the cessation of the issuance of visas to individuals from foreign countries that sponsor terrorism;

9. screening potential immigrants for communicable diseases;

10. withholding federal funds from universities that give lower in-state tuition rates to immigrants on student visas, or refuse to cooperate with the foreign student tracking system;

11. designating Non-Citizens as such on their driver’s license to prevent voter fraud and that their driver’s licenses expire on the same date of any visa;

12. requiring naturalized citizens to renounce their native citizenship and surrender their foreign passport; and

13. a tamper-proof identification and tracking system for all aliens, i.e. non-citizens and their dependents that would protect Hispanic, and other naturalized US citizens from job discrimination and unburden American businesses from the job of verification.; and

14. reform to the current immigration system to make it more efficient and fair, especially for foreign nationals serving in the U. S. military.

Illegal Immigration – No amnesty! No how. No way.

With growing impatience, the American people in overwhelming numbers have asked our government to secure our borders. They now demand it and we as a party agree with the American people. Illegal aliens have, by definition, committed a criminal act. We oppose illegal immigration, amnesty in any form, or legal status for illegal immigrants. The American people remember the broken promises of 1986 and will not be misled again.

We support:

1. an immediate end to the current “catch and release” policy of Homeland Security;

2. stiffer fines, criminal penalties, and an aggressive enforcement policy for those who knowingly employ, rent to, house, or provide financial services to illegal workers; and

3. expeditious hearings on deporting non-violent illegal immigrants held in prisons or jails;

4. suspending automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrant parents;

5. elimination of federal funding to cities that have “sanctuary” laws prohibiting local police from identifying and reporting illegal immigrants to federal authorities;

6. empowering requiring state and local law enforcement agencies with the authority, responsibility and resources needed to detain illegal immigrants within the course of their regular duties;

7. the rejection of non-verifiable foreign-issued cards, such as matricula consular as valid identification for official documentation purposes;

8. investigation and strict prosecution of agencies, businesses or persons involved in the production, distribution or acceptance of phony identification documents;

9. elimination of day labor work centers;

10. elimination of all laws requiring hospitals to give non-emergency medical care to illegal immigrants;

11. elimination of social security or other government benefits or government funding to illegal immigrants for education, housing and business loans.

12. legislation to prevent any foreign country and/or its citizens from using the judicial system of the United States to gain entrance to the U.S.;

13. strong document verification prior to the issuance of a Texas drivers license to anyone;

14. the withholding of federal highway funds from any state that issues drivers licenses to illegal aliens;

15. aggressive prosecution of persons involved in smuggling humans across our borders.;

16. the reimbursement by the federal government of state and local government expenses incurred in detaining and trying illegal aliens caught in their jurisdictions; and

17. requiring state and local governments and hospitals to publicize expenses incurred providing services to illegal aliens.

Restoring American Sovereignty and Leadership

International Relations

Cuba – We support strengthening the Cuban embargo. We urge Congress to continue to defend human rights for Cubans and to not prop up Dictator Fidel Castro.

Iraq - We commend President George W. Bush, his administration, and the U.S. Armed Forces in their strategy and execution of the War in Iraq. We support the establishment of a representative form of government for the people of Iraq to protect them from the tyranny of dictatorial regimes and as a stabilizing force in the Middle East in the greater war against terrorism. We support the continuation of economic and security assistance to Iraq as it rebuilds its country, establishes its government, secures its country from terrorism, and solidifies its new found economic and individual freedoms.

International Trade – We favor fair and reciprocal trade and competition in the international market place. We oppose excessive regulation of American industry which makes American products uncompetitive in world markets. We oppose the expansion of free trade at the expense of national security and national sovereignty of the United States, and calls for the immediate withdrawal of the United States from any agreements that compromise national sovereignty, independence, self-sufficiency, and national security. Likewise, we urge sanctions against nations that:

1. disrupt free trade by subsidizing agricultural exports or other goods to the United States;

2. bar or excessively tax American products or services;

3. enslave their own citizens, or violate human rights; and

4. engage in technological espionage.

We urge the repeal of any international trade agreements that do not promote free trade, withdrawal from membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), opposition to any sort of North American Union, and cessation of further negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) agreement.

We urge Congress to authorize fund expenditures and audit measures on research and development of alternative fuels to reduce the United States dependency on foreign oil producers and ensure no financial support of terrorist sponsoring nations.

We urge the use and purchase of finished goods and materials with parts made and assembled in the United States.

We require that all trucks entering and operating on American roads meet all current American standards for safety and operations.

We urge Congress to investigate the issue of outsourcing jobs overseas and U.S. corporations moving their corporate headquarters overseas to avoid taxation, and make corrections to address any identified issues. Additionally, we demand that all government entities be banned from overseas job outsourcing, and that all personal information pertaining to U.S. citizens only be handled by U.S. citizens.

No more changes to the platform were approved by the Convention.

One resolution not included in the platform was approved by the Convention to be forwarded to the State Resolutions Committee:

WHEREAS, U. S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean have been arrested, tried, and convicted of shooting a fleeing drug suspect; and

WHEREAS, the main witness against them, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, was indicted and convicted of drug smuggling only a few weeks after the incident in question; and

WHEREAS, several irregularities with their case have been brought before Courts of Appeals and the U. S. Congress; now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Texas calls upon President George W. Bush to pardon Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean.

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