Entries Tagged '1st Amendment' ↓

It’s NOT free speech, it’s vandalism

Pitty had a crybaby session over at the Wuss College;

This just popped up in my Facebook feed. Apparently, Augustana University dems think they get to decide what is free speech, and anything they disagree with is to be obliterated.

First off, if this was done on PRIVATE campus property, it would be vandalism, not free speech. First the students who decided to chalk up the sidewalk with anti-choice messaging AND the students who scrubbed the message away. While removing the messaging wasn’t vandalism, icing up the sidewalk was.

As I have told people who argue with me about the Jesus snowplows, there is a difference between public and private property. Neither party practiced free speech since this involved private property.

Speaking of crapola from Pitty;

Donita Trump Noem already practicing Nepotism before she is even sworn into office

Like most SD Republican Governor administrations, Nepotism reigns. Rounds was one of the worst, Denny continued the tradition, and now Noem announces her transition team which features her daughter;

Kennedy Noem is a senior at South Dakota State University, where she is majoring in political science with a minor in economics. She is the daughter of Governor-elect Noem.

I wonder if her minor in economics helps her keep track of the millions in farm subsidies her family has received?

Minnehaha County Commission allows 23 minutes of public input and No one got hurt

I found it a little ironic that the MCC allowed public input for over 23 minutes without incident, no gaveling, and not cutting off after a certain ‘time limit’. In fact the MCC engaged them in conversation (GET OUT!).

First at regular public input, Jay Masur from MedStar talked for 9 minutes about fees. He even apologized for going 9 minutes, in which none of the commissioners responded. In fact during his testimony they had a conversation about his concerns (imagine that).

After Masur, a couple of rural residents did a planned presentation on a rural trail system (14 Minutes);

The MCC also engaged them on something that is important to the constituents.

The Sioux Falls City Council needs to take a page from the MCC on how important public input is, and that meetings don’t have time limits and to engage the public in conversation. Instead they get angry about talking to long, chastise them for being repetitive and don’t ask questions or engage them.

If the SFCC wants to learn something from the MCC it is about the proper procedure of taking public input, which in most cases should be unlimited.

Keystone XL Pipeline Protests

So a South DaCola foot soldier sent me an interesting email today;

Just a thought, this might come home quicker than we think. I would guess that our PD and firefighters will offer to fill in when the protests start. I’m guessing that we still pay and insure them when they volunteer.

What do you think as a taxpayer about that?

Sioux Falls City Council still considers ‘Public Input’ as an annoyance.

Councilor Brekke made a presentation this afternoon to make some changes to public input. Her request was simple, another 2 minutes on 2nd readings that the council has to take action.

You would think they would say ‘Yeah, that sounds fair’. But after a lot of discussion they seemed to be on the fence.

As I mention in my public input (at the end of the meeting), it is OUR TIME not theirs. And if they have a problem with listening from the public on concerns maybe they should resign and make all of our lives much easier. The 1st Amendment demands it, and I don’t give a rat’s ass how long they have to listen. It is a part of their duty as elected officials.

Jesus plows return without ‘Disclaimer’

Well there was one positive thing about the Jesus plows this year, Former Sioux Falls City Attorney Fiddle-Faddle’s stupid disclaimer is not on them anymore. There is also NO words about ‘Jesus’. ‘GOD’ or ‘Savior’. They are getting more clever with how to paint the plows. Still doesn’t matter, they are still a violation of separation of church and state.

What a bunch of knuckle heads.

Is the Sioux Falls Planning Commission skirting state public input law?

I noticed this on the Planning Commission’s agenda page;

This is what was done at the previous meeting;

As we know, or maybe not, state law changed that ALL public meetings have to provide GENERAL public input at ANY time in the meeting. The Planning Commission decided to skirt this at their latest meeting. Are they violating the NEW state law? Not sure, but would not surprise me, their arrogance is usually insurmountable, mostly due to planning staff who backs them up.

UPDATE: Why is a Zeal Center board member trashing councilors on FB?

As you may or may not know, the Zeal Center is part of the USD Discovery Center (that recently got funding from the city council for infrastructure) and share many of the same leaders, like Rich Naser.

UPDATE: I am being told Zeal is a joint venture between the Chamber and the Development Foundation and the USD Discovery District is a USD project. Rich Naser works on both of them, but Zeal receives no DIRECT city funding but the Development Foundation DOES.

One of the board members of Zeal, Matthew Paulson, decided to trash city councilor Stehly on FB recently (she supported the funding).

While Matt certainly has a 1st Amendment Right to say what he wants about an elected official, NOT sure it shows a lot of professionalism when your organization just got a big chunk of money from the city’s taxpayers in which Stehly approved of. Remember, the city council holds the purse strings (not so much under the last mayor). Maybe the next time The Discovery Center or Zeal come asking for funding they won’t be getting much support from city council.

Maybe TenHaken needs to take his own advice when it comes to employees and social media

I’m guessing the city’s wellness coordinator may have an issue with this.

Remember what TenHaken said in 2012 about employees sharing political views on social media;

Ten Haken said he is no stranger to a good political debate on his Facebook and Twitter, but airing out your political feelings online can be a social media ‘don’t’ because it can come back to haunt you.  Rants and fights online can not only wreck personal relationships, but even put your job in jeopardy.

“It’s just safe to kind of walk the middle of the road and if you’re going to post about politics.  There’s nothing wrong with engaging in politics, but just not in such a polarizing way,” Ten Haken said.

Paul went on to comment in the thread;

Paul Ten Haken on 09.24.12 at 6:50 am

The takeaway from the story is that employers (self included) don’t necessarily appreciate overly controversial bantor and talk that can create a rift in a company’s culture. Politics, religion, sports, etc. are certainly not taboo, but extreme left and right views can make an employer question the “fit” someone will be in a work environment that the employer has painstakingly built.

And who can forget his Deputy COS’s comments just months (7/11/17) before being hired to work for the administration;

It seems Paul needs to step back and take his own advice before hiring certain individuals to work for the city.

Trump & Libel

Not sure if you had a chance to watch Trump’s speech yesterday (about 30 minutes of blubbering) but you can find it somewhere.

During his rant he mentions twice to Thune and Rounds that we need better libel laws so people like the president can sue over ‘fake news’. I know that it is difficult for sitting politicians to sue but former Senator Larry Pressler successfully won a suit over libel in 1998 after a book accused him of being gay.

I guess what I would tell Trump is, go for it. If the news isn’t telling the truth, please by all means, prove it in a court of law. The problem is, I don’t think our Liar in Chief stands a snowball chance in Hell of winning a libel case. It requires you to offer evidence and proof what is being reported is untruthful.

BRADY MALLORY INTERVIEWS TRUMP

I was actually pretty impressed with Mallory’s eight minute interview. He hammered Trump on crop tariff’s and Obama’s recent comments. While Trump blew a lot of smoke (like saying the tariffs will help the farmers in the long run), Brady did a great job of standing his ground. BRAVO.

Is the SFPD monitoring public input and commentary?

Last night I heard a rumor that the Sioux Falls Police Department has been monitoring citizens at public input and journalists who may be saying disparaging remarks about the department. At first I was a little amused by the rumor and I asked, “You mean like in the book 1984?” and this person replied, “Pretty much.”

I’m not going accuse the current mayor of concocting such a policy, or even if he is aware (though he probably is). I have a feeling this started under the last administration due to his never ending paranoia about what the media said about him (mostly because he got caught in several lies). I’m guessing the new Chief, Matt Burns was probably directed by him to start watching people.

At this point I only know about a handful of people who actively being ‘watched’ for what they say or do. Obviously city officials read my blog, I have no doubt about it, and while I am not bothered by it, I am concerned about other private citizens being monitored for practicing their 1st Amendment rights. It is unconstitutional and if the rumor turns out to be true, it could set the city up for a very unfavorable constitutional lawsuit especially if entities like the ACLU and NCAC (National Coalition Against Censorship) get involved.

My hope is that this has just happened randomly and is not an ongoing procedure. We have a lot of issues in our community when dealing with crime, especially Meth addiction and Human Trafficking. I think the SFPD needs to focus on those problems and NOT worry about what the citizenry is saying about them.

• On a different note, I did hear that the SFPD will get body cameras this year.

• There was also over 100 code enforcement letters sent to the Norton Acres section of Sioux Falls. They were annexed in decades ago but have NO curb or gutter. It’s a mix and match of different homes and mobile homes. The code enforcement office was trying to make the neighborhood adhere to standards that neighborhoods within the city proper adhere to. My first suggestion before cracking down on the homeowners in that neighborhood would be for the city to fix the roads and update the street lighting. I guess the mass code enforcement blanketing has been called off for now.