Entries Tagged '1st Amendment' ↓

Should we really be shocked?

While I find what this gun chuckler from Hiremorewhitepeople, SD did in a parade in a town no one has heard of kind of disgusting, I will defend his 1st Amendment right to do so;

“My stance, and the city’s stance is that every person has a right to the first amendment, to express his or her speech, and the expressions of it, we do not regulate that,” said Day.

You can actually ‘regulate’ what is in a parade. Many parades held in Sioux Falls have certain regulations. It’s kind of like requiring vehicles to have headlights to drive at night. Wait, does this town even have roads? It looks like they put out a fresh patch of gravel just for this float.

What I find funny is the failed attempt at satire, yes, I’m laughing at the fact that I don’t get the joke. First off, your jail cell doesn’t have a bottom, you know they can crawl right underneath. Also, why are they smiling? I was in jail once, the only time I laughed/smiled was when I had to show the deputy how to properly scan my fingerprints (no kidding!) Secondly, while Barry and Hillary get accused of a lot of crimes, I still have no idea what those ‘actual’ crimes are and if they have ever been brought up on charges. Trump, on the other hand has been sued thousands of times, and he most likely is a criminal.

I’m glad some sh*thole town in South Dakota is sticking up for my 1st Amendment rights, I just think they need a lesson in political satire, if only we could find the place on google maps.

Should ‘ALL’ Sioux Falls City Councilor emails be considered confidential?

I have been of the opinion that city correspondence should be public record unless it is addressing legal counsel, personnel or discussing possible legislation.

City councilors have been sharing discussion emails with the media and this blog for well over a decade. Since the council’s email and use of it is taxpayer owned property, there really isn’t any harm in sharing discussion emails with the public, I would even argue it is our right to see it.

Lately there has been some internal discussions on the council whether or not sharing discussion emails is appropriate. Not only is it OK it is essential to open government and seeing what our council is doing. This is also a reason why texting during the meetings should not be allowed. Any correspondence during these meetings, whether through a text or email should either not be allowed by ordinance or shared with the public since it seems to be a part of the public hearing.

It’s hard to ‘Leak’ confidential information to the public if it’s NOT confidential to begin with.

Events Center Campus Survey is government overreach, but that’s just one example

There is nothing wrong with online surveys. If you are willing to give up some form of security to help marketing companies make a little extra money, that is your bizzo. But when government hires a private company to do a survey that requires a name, address and phone number, then we have issues;

Today, Mayor Paul TenHaken’s Events Campus Study Group launched a public survey to gather input from the community on the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Campus.

Available at siouxfalls.org/ec-survey, the short survey asks for input on the current status of the campus and looks for feedback on potential improvements. Survey respondents will be entered into a drawing to win one of many $25 gift cards.

One of the other key questions is if you are a registered voter. None of this information is pertinent unless the city and the marketing company (Lawrence & Schiller) needs to collect data on you as a registered voter. Remember, Mayor TenHaken is serving his first term in elected office of any position, he has a long political life ahead of him (I hope not). L & S also does political consulting for a wide range of candidates across the state. This kind of voter data would be very valuable to both PTH and L & S. It is also not needed. Simply marking a box saying your are a SF resident should be good enough for this survey.

But this isn’t the only place the city is gathering data on you. They are also doing it with the phone app for reporting potholes and other issues. They are also doing it HERE on the city website and HERE on the GIS website.

They have also gotten away from posting really any video on the city’s main website and very few in YouTube. They have been basically using FB as their main source to getting out information. Besides the fact that some people don’t use FB, it goes back to not having to have a ‘login’ to access public information. They can also track you via FB.

The Brexit campaign to leave the EU used FB to manipulate the vote. It is under a massive investigation because of complicated UK laws that deal with voter protections. Using FB to collect voter and citizen data isn’t some fairytale.

There is absolutely NO reason a citizen should have to have a login to get public information. Public information should be available for FREE and without sharing your identity.

While I could go into several constitutional reasons why what they are doing is wrong, the bigger question I have is ‘WHY’ collect the data? Why does the administration and certain people within city government, and now apparently private companies, think they need our home addresses, names, phone numbers, age, email, voter registration? What does that have to do with a dying ball field?

This is a ploy to collect as much data as possible on us to manipulate future elections. It’s very Karl Rovian and certainly in PTH’s ‘wheelhouse’.

DON’T sign up to receive data. Don’t fill out these surveys. And if the government comes knocking on your door, tell them they need a warrant.

UPDATE: Noem’s photo op didn’t go well

UPDATE: A SouthDaCola foot soldier who knows the student told me this, “She was kicked out of girls state for posting that photo. Friends of Noem’s messaged her threatening if she didn’t take it down.”

Ever notice that the SD GOP royalty can’t take a joke?

Surveillance is everywhere, but not to keep ‘us’ safe

Isn’t funny how government puts this stuff up to protect themselves from us;

“There are an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras now deployed in the United States shooting 4 billion hours of footage a week,” reported Popular Mechanics 10 years ago. Five years later,according to The New York Times, “there were 245 million professionally installed surveillance cameras around the world.” Today, five years later, they’re talking about 30,000 spy cameras in the city of Chicago alone.

The Cameras Everywhere craze came to full bloom after September 11, when fear of the “other” transformed into fear of everything. This fear was fed and nurtured through the oppressive onslaught of cynical politicians and ratings-hungry news networks. Recently, however, cities have begun to flip their own high beams at the eyes that never blink.

“In 2013, Seattle police installed surveillance cameras and a network that could track wireless devices throughout downtown,”reported The Seattle Times in February of 2018. The network “had the potential to track and log every wireless device that moved through its system: people attending protests, people getting cups of coffee, people going to a hotel in the middle of the workday…. After unwanted publicity, they turned it off. Now the city is paying $150,000 to physically tear it down.”

Remembering Professor Mike Myers on Memorial Day

Of all the interesting politicians I have met over the past 15 years, Mike was one of the most memorable. Tenacious as all get out. I often was amused of the way the political establishment (he was a registered Independent his entire life) and the media treated him as a gadfly. As a candidate for governor, he was the most qualified person to ever run for the position. A former journalist, CEO of Mayo and USD Law Professor, people often ignored his resume. But it was Mike’s personality that made him a winner.

In this video, campus police at USD tried to tell him he was trespassing in the law center. He was sent a letter from the University basically telling him he was not welcome, something they call ‘Persona Non Grata’ which is a fancy legal term that doesn’t mean a pile of beans. This is why we asked for the court order that they could not produce. We will miss you Mike, you will not be forgotten.

The City ‘CAN’ talk about the Parking Ramp

I find it interesting that his letter was sent out to the media (but posted nowhere on city website that I can find).

While Kooistra is correct in saying that public officials cannot talk about the ‘details’ of pending litigation, they CAN talk about what has already been publicly filed. They can also share their opinion, especially councilors, on the matter without going in to detail of the case.

I’m actually surprised and disappointed that the six councilors and past mayor who ramrodded this through don’t even have the courage to apologize for how this turned out. That would have NOTHING to do with a default of the developer. Instead they are trying to hide behind this shield of the city attorney claiming they can’t talk. That is a bunch of boloney coming from a hen house full of rubber stamp chickens.

UPDATE: Brandon gets out the ‘Spanky Stick’ on a fellow councilor

UPDATE: Tim was on Belfrage this morning and explained why he thinks he was censured. He was one of six councilors to vote against hiring new police chief and he posted comments by a RESIDENT (not from him) on FB. The RESIDENT, not Tim, was accusing the city of fraud.

Start this fantastic video at 1:24;

I like how the Clerk practically yells out the charges, and the city posts this on there front page of website;

Not sure why there is large tubs of ice cream in front of the council, and I’m not even sure if Tim did anything wrong. But I find it a bit disturbing that they would censure a fellow peer without ZERO discussion, or allowing him to defend himself.

I think I am going to personally BAN myself from Brandon ‘Weirdsville’ South Dakota. I feel better already.

Brandon City Councilor’s 1st Amendment Rights were probably violated

I’m still waiting to hear more details on this fiasco;

The Brandon city council voted unanimously Monday evening to censure one of it council members.

Tim Wakefield tells KELOLAND News, he was censured because other council members don’t agree with his use of social media to bring public concerns to light.

He says the council is in the process of drafting an ordinance that says any council member can be fined $500 for that type of behavior.

Tim ran for mayor and lost last week. Tim’s platform was based on the condition of the water in Brandon (they have high levels of radium). Tim is an engineer that understands some of those processes, and while he was running for mayor he would often talk about Brandon’s water issues on Facebook. He has suggested that Brandon hook up to Lewis & Clark so the town has safe, clean water.

I guess the contention of the council was that Tim was on Facebook telling people he won’t drink city water. The council claims it is against the law (not sure if this is Brandon charter?) to say ‘bad’ things about Brandon’s city government or criticize them while serving in that government. Where do these small town Hayseeds come up with this stuff?

Just because someone is serving on a governmental board, doesn’t mean their 1st Amendment Rights are stripped of them, quite the opposite. Just imagine if Stehly was on the Brandon City Council, she would be serving a life sentence in prison for speaking out on Facebook 🙂

If Tim really wants to challenge this, Brandon could have a monster 1st Amendment lawsuit on their hands that could cost them millions if they lose, uh, I mean, when they lose.

I have never liked that town . . . Weirdsville is at it again.

Letter Writer misses Jefferson’s point about ‘God’ in schools

I often chuckle when people repeat quotes of our founding fathers in order to argue for their side while ignoring what the founding fathers were actually saying. This letter writer thinks Jefferson wasn’t supporting separation of church and state, but I guess it is how you read the quote and comprehend it;

Jefferson spoke directly against such an incursion of federal power, citing the First Amendment and Tenth Amendment restrictions on the federal government: “Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in any religious discipline has been delegated to the General [federal] Government.”

I guess, there is no other way to comprehend this statement, except a separation of church and state. But the quote also includes this little ending to try to confuse the reader;

“It must then rest with the States.”

While the States do have their own constitutions, they must follow the highest law of the land, the US Constitution which contains the 1st Amendment. States often try to skirt this very important amendment, and have often failed. There is currently a lawsuit pending on this when it comes to out of state campaign money. But even if states were granted supreme power to ignore the 1st Amendment when it comes to placing ‘In God We Trust’ in schools;

  • Why have they offered to defend school districts in lawsuits? If they think they are creating laws that are constitutional, why would they have to have this disclaimer?
  • Who in this state asked for this legislation? While we are a representational government, who asked our representatives to change the law? Clergy? School Districts? Voters? I have never heard of one single group asking our representational government to do this. Why? Because most people with common sense know this is unconstitutional, and even if it wasn’t, what difference does it make?

Are we so ignorant and naive to believe that by posting ‘God’ in the mess hall of a school somehow we will produce a born again revolution of school kids? Give me a break. If you want your children to have a religious foundation in their education you have the option and the right to send them to a private school.

Our public schools are designed to educate, whether that is math or literature, or working together on a sports team, or creativity in the arts. Our teachers are NOT clergy. Faith is something that needs to be taught by parents with the assistance of faith based organizations that are NOT publicly funded for a reason, it violates the separation clause, something I think Jefferson was VERY clear about. Separation of Church and State is there to PROTECT people of faith from government intruding into your personal beliefs. It’s a good thing. If legislators truly want to SAVE our children from the powers of evil, the first thing they need to do is fund public education and healthcare better, something the state has the power to do, but continues to fail. Once that happens then we can talk about posting signs that actually mean something.